Acoording to the Times Leader Luzerne County Judge Michael Toole and former school employee Jeffrey Piazza are scheduled to enter guilty pleas to corruption charges in federal court in Scranton today.
Toole is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Richard P. Conaboy at 11 a.m. while Piazza will enter his plea before U.S. District Judge James Munley at 10 a.m.
Toole, 49, of Wilkes-Barre, was charged on Dec. 2 with honest services fraud and tax evasion. Federal prosecutors say Toole improperly communicated with an attorney to determine who that attorney wished to have appointed as an arbitrator in an uninsured motorist insurance case. The attorney had permitted Toole to use the attorney’s beach house in New Jersey without charge, prosecutors say.
In a separate matter, Toole was also charged with failing to report on his income tax return $30,000 he received for referring a case to another attorney.
Prosecutors have not identified either attorney. Information contained in the charges indicates the attorney involved in the uninsured motorist case is Harry Cardoni of Kingston. A source familiar with the corruption probe identified attorney Robert Powell of Butler Township as the person who paid Toole the referral fee.
Between Attorney General Tom Corbett's investigation and the probe of the Luzerne County courthouse 50 public employees have been charged with a mirad of charges all pointing to corruption of obligation necessary for public trust. Yonki may feel taxes are the price we pay for a free and open society. All of these people were paid with taxpayer money. Is this the free and open society he was referring to?