We have 2 new members of the Court of Common Pleas in Luzerne County. Bill Amesbury won both party nominations in May and Tina Gartley came in second on the Democratic side virtually ensuring their election in the fall. Yet another reason to get rid of cross filing in judicial and school board races in the primary when the fewest people vote. That is not a shot at Gartley or Amesbury as I think they are good people. It is a shot at the Wilkes-Barre Area School Directors who recently selected an accused criminal as Board President but that is another subject.
I will give props to our esteemed jurists for selecting the only Republican on the bench, Tom Burke, as the new President Judge. Burke just won his retention vote despite my urging of a no vote on him and PPO-2 on principle. My lawyer friends tell me he is one of the best people on the bench and will hopefully continue the efforts of Chet Muroski to clean up the mess. I still find it hard to believe that these guys didn't know what was going on in Ciavarella's courtroom. Muroski says he went to FBI about the shenanigans going on in the courthouse but Ann Lokuta was the only one to put it in writing. For her efforts Michael Conahan orchestrated a campaign to remove her from the bench that the Court of Judicial Discipline has upheld in an apparent case of CYA.
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