Friday, June 4, 2010

So What Is Really Up In Luzerne County?

For a while I have been trying to tell people that the FBi didn't send agents in from Washington to arrest someone for accepting a $1,500.00 suit. It takes a lot of money and resources to mobilize such an investigative team. In discussions with friends I reminded them that the uninsured/under insured motorists issue has not been resolved or brought to light as of yet.

The Legal Intelligencer wrote this article on May 5, 2009. Its extensive contents seem to point in that direction.

In a potentially explosive document filed Monday, the attorneys for PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care claim that money paid to two former Luzerne County, Pa., judges was not a "kids for cash" arrangement, but was part of a corrupt courthouse system that included fixing civil cases.

The attorneys, who also represent Gregory Zappala and the juvenile detention facilities, allege that former Luzerne County President Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan Jr. were paid more than $2.6 million for "favorable panels or results in automobile arbitration cases or other civil cases, and not for adjudication and commitment of the delinquents."

The child-care provider defendants in the case deny all knowledge of any alleged kickback scheme.

They claimed the "information relevant to this belief … is in the control of" the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. They also claimed that they could not conduct thorough discovery while the investigation is ongoing and that "if the outcome of the investigations is as provider defendants expects, all discovery will be unnecessary."

The allegations represent a clear departure from those made by federal authorities in criminal cases.

PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care, though, claim their allegations can be backed by Luzerne County Common Pleas Court judges and attorneys who have received target letters from federal investigators.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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