story about the cost of renting offices for magistrates in Luzerne County. While the story focused on a rental in Hazleton it failed to zero in on a candidate for Judge in Luzerne County. In fact the cost of this rental exceeded the one in Hazleton.
As if we didn't have enough with the juvenile scandal this article lists William Amesbury's office rental cost at $80,000.00 per year. To be fair Martin Kane was over $5,000.00 higher at $85,800.00 per year but look at the rest.
William Amesbury, $80,000;
• Martin Kane, $85,800;
• Fred Pierantoni, $12,000;
• Paul Roberts, $12,000;
• Andrew Barilla, $12,000;
• Joseph Carmody, $12,000;
• Joseph Halesey, $30,200;
• Donald Whittaker, $12,000;
• John Hasay, $27,432;
• Daniel O’Donnell, $27,000;
• Thomas Sharkey, $19,392;
• Gerald Feissner, $14,000;
• Ronald Swank, $21,000;
• Michael Dotzel, $32,000;
• Diana Malast, $15,800;
• James Tupper, $29,000
How do magistrates justify such a disparity? How can Amesbury make a plea to the people to vote for him as judge when he appears to forget about the voters when it comes to his own "digs"? He acknowledged the public’s faith in the judicial system has been severely tarnished and must be restored by making the government more open and transparent.
Bill, welcome to transparency. Amesbury has acknowledge accepting donations from people involved in the FBI corruption probe. He donated two of the three donations to charity. The third donation was from Kim Mericle, who is the wife of Robert Mericle. He said he took her donation because she has been a longtime friend of 35 years and she did not have any dealings with her husband’s business. Obviously Kim wasn't part of the probe but her husband pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal.
Mr. Amesbury, and to all the judicial candidates as well as those seeking retention, you should pay special attention to your Supreme Court justices. SOP is not alleging any kickbacks or paybacks on the parts of any candidate. However, it seems the message is still not resonating with all the candidates.
Ciavarella, who is awaiting trial on racketeering charges, broke the law by taking kickbacks from the operator of two for-profit juvenile detention centers and ignored court rules by failing to fully inform juveniles who appeared before him of their right to legal counsel, the court concluded in a unanimous nine-page opinion.
The violations were so egregious that even juveniles sentenced to other centers and those who had legal counsel deserve to have their records cleared, according to the court.
"Given the extent of the taint, this court simply cannot have confidence that any juvenile matter adjudicated by Ciavarella during this period was tried in a fair and impartial matter," the court wrote.
Keep your relationships clean. It is up to you to go the extra mile if you want the voters to begin the healing process towards trust in your judicial proceedings. Arrogance or a cavalier attitude toward the restoring process will only keep the wounds fresh and deep.
To be clear SOP is not a Tina Gartley fan although she will be a winner. Her close association to Commissioner MaryAnn Petrilla who, in our opinion, is getting a "free ride" in the Luzerne County probe, is not acceptable. Petrilla was Controller during that period and even the media seems to be gentle about her role.