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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

March, 2009


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Sending Kids To Jail For Cash
By Lynda Carson

Corrupt Luzerne County Judges Of Pennsylvania Admit To Being Part Of Kickback Scheme To Lock Up Kids For Cash
Two corrupt judges admit to accepting $2.6 million in payments to take kids away from their families to house them in juvenile detention facilities (prisons) for kids in Pennsylvania, for little more than petty to minor offenses or infractions.
In Pennsylvania, the corrupt judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan are also connected to a drug dealer (Ronald Belletiere) in Florida, and to the mob through Michael T. Conahan's partnership as part owner (10%) of a bank called First National Community Bancorp INC. (FNCB), along with Louis DeNaples (FNCB director) who also is a partner of William "Big Billy" D'Elia, age 62, an alleged mafia crime boss turned government informant who received a 9 year prison term during November 2008.

The corrupt judges Ciavarella and Conahan assisted attorney Robert Powell in securing $30 million in Luzerne County contracts to lock up kids in juvenile detention facilities that Powell co-owned, known as Western PA Child Care LLC., while accepting $2.6 million in kickbacks from Robert Powell to fill up Powell's detention centers with kids.

Pennsylvania prosecutors have alleged that Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in detention centers operated by Western PA Child Care LLC and a sister company co-owned by Robert Powell until recently.

It's believed that the corrupt judges may have tainted the convictions of thousands of juvenile offenders since 2003, and a full investigation is underway.

Thousands of kids may have been housed in detention centers that should not have been there through the years, and those currently locked up by the judges for minor offenses should be immediately released.

On February 12, 2009 the two corrupt judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of Luzerne County admitted their guilt in the kickback scheme with attorney Robert Powell, resulting in the lockup of kids for cash.



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