Recent Event Highlights: State stops paying Ciavarella, Conahan Ciavarella enter guilty plea, Courts agree to end litigation against county, Sharkey enters plea, State Supreme Court steps in, Muroski officially voted president judge, and 29 more...
Created by cvoice on Jan 29, 2009
Last updated: 03/11/10 at 10:33 PM
Reacting to former judge Mark A. Ciavarella’s guilty plea in a corruption case, the state Supreme Court cut off his $157,000 salary and health benefits Friday.
Former county judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan enter guilty pleas in federal court in Scranton for accepting $2.6 million in kickbacks.
First National Community Bank filed complaints seeking $4.15 million from Luzerne County Judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan and their wives for defaulting on loans they guaranteed for a Mountain Top townhouse project.
In a statement released to the media from his attorneys Butler Township attorney Robert J. Powell said he was a “victim” who paid kickbacks to two Luzerne County judges, but later regretted the payments and ultimately reported them to authorities.
Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr.’s furloughs of inmates sentenced by other county judges has caught the attention of the FBI, who visited the Crossing Over transitional housing program in Wilkes-Barre, asking questions about Ciavarella’s decision to furlough inmates there, owner/operator Jim Casey confirms.
The wife of the Luzerne County Court administrator accused of stealing more than $70,000 forfeited in county court has a cleaning business with a county contract.
An article to be published Monday in the Philadelphia-based Legal Intelligencer, which bills itself as the nation’s oldest legal journal, quotes named and unnamed sources who say Luzerne County’s system for naming arbitrators in accident cases involving uninsured or underinsured motorists has led to what one attorney called “outrageous awards.”
Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., facing prison in a corruption case, acknowledged he “disgraced my judgeship” in a letter to his successor as president judge, Chester B. Muroski, but took issue with various public statements Muroski has made about Ciavarella’s tenure as president judge.
Luzerne County judges today agreed to end litigation over court funding and cut about $3 million in judicial spending this year, County Solicitor Vito DeLuca said.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 Wilkes-Barre, PA
Newsletter | NEWSFLASH | Special Sections
Subscribe to the paper | Contact Us | About Us
Site Web Search powered by
o Election 2008
o Strange News
o Courthouse News
o County Reassessment
o Catholic School Conflict
o Debit-Card Probe
o School News
o Newspapers in Education
o Most Read
o Past 7 Days News
o Search Archives
o Lottery Results
o Local Sports
o Varsity 570
o Varsity Voice Online
o Penn State
o NCAA Football
o NCAA Basketball
o Penguins Insider blog
o SWB Yankees blog
o Penn State blog
o Cole Cartoon blog
o Local/National Business
o Community News
o TV Book
o 30th Anniversary
o Health Guide
o Valley History
o On Tap blog
o Office blog
* Online Extras
o Photo galleries
o Audio slideshows
o Newsflash text alerts
o In Focus photo store
o Hot Shot
o Message Boards
o RSS Feeds
o Newspaper Ads
o Premier Business
o Search all classifieds
o Yellow Pages
+ All Categories
+ Wilkes-Barre Apartments
+ Wilkes-Barre Attorneys
+ Wilkes-Barre Auto Dealers
+ Wilkes-Barre Auto Parts
+ Wilkes-Barre Auto Repair
+ Wilkes-Barre Beauty Salons
+ Wilkes-Barre Car Rental
+ Wilkes-Barre Dentists
+ Wilkes-Barre Doctors
+ Wilkes-Barre Flowers
+ Wilkes-Barre Hotels
+ Wilkes-Barre Insurance
+ Wilkes-Barre Loans
+ Wilkes-Barre Mortgages
+ Wilkes-Barre Movers
+ Wilkes-Barre Pizza
+ Wilkes-Barre Realtors
+ Wilkes-Barre Restaurants
+ Wilkes-Barre Storage
+ Wilkes-Barre Tax Preparation
+ Wilkes-Barre Travel
* About Us
o About Us
o Our Newspapers
o Radio Stations
o Contact Us
o Press Pass
o Customer Service
o Advertising Rate Cards
o Advertsing Online
o Media Kit
Archives > News
Print | E-mail | Comment (No comments posted.) | Rate | Text Size
Sharkey expected to enter guilty plea Feb. 17
Share This Story:
del.icio.usdiggNewsVine Reddit google facebook Yahoo! Technorati Yahoo! Buzz
BY DAVE JANOSKI
Published: Friday, February 6, 2009 9:07 AM EST
Suspended Luzerne County Court Administrator William T. Sharkey Sr. is expected to plead guilty to embezzlement Feb. 17 before U.S. District Judge Edwin M. Kosik, the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Luzerne County Court Administrator William T. Sharkey Sr. will give up his West Hazleton home, his car and more than $42,000 he’s paid to the state pension system if that's necessary to cover the costs of restitution for the $70,000 he allegedly embezzled from the county court system, according to his plea agreement with federal prosecutors revealed to the public in the afternoon of February 3.
The state Supreme Court announced it will immediately review the cases of hundreds of young defendants who passed through the Luzerne County court system while Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. allegedly accepted payoffs to facilitate the development of a juvenile detention center.
Luzerne County Court Administrator William T. Sharkey, whose office has been implicated in the corruption probe was ordered by President Judge Chester B. Muroski to end his five-month-long sick leave.
After serving in the role since Ciavarella stepped down, Chester A. Muroski is officially voted 7-1 by his fellow jurists as president judge.
Federal prosecutors charge Ciavarella and Conahan with accepting $2.67 million in payments from Powell and Mericle. Under a plea agreement, the judges would resign from the bench and bar and serve 87 months in prison. Prosecutors say the investigation continues.
In a brief press conference in Court Room 4, County Judge Chester Muroski announces Mark A. Ciavarella's letter of resignation as president judge and that he, as senior judge will take over.
Hearing charges against then-President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella are imminent, the eight other county judges meet to discuss how to move forward. Federal charges against Ciavarella, who is not invited to the meeting, and Senior Judge Michael T. Conahan, would be announced two days later.
Although federal investigators will not announce the charges until Monday, Conahan and his attorneys agree to a plea.
Although federal investigators will not announce the charges until Monday, Ciavarella and his attorneys sign the plea at some point on Friday.
The Citizens' Voice reports that the FBI is investigating the Luzerne County court system’s handling of confiscated gambling proceeds from illegal poker machines.
The Citizens' Voice reveals the FBI is working with the local DA's office on the case.
Federal agents seize county records related to Pennsylvania Child Care
Gregory Zappala, Powell’s partner in Pennsylvania Child Care, announces he has bought out Powell’s interest in Pennsylvania Child Care.
The Citizens’ Voice first reports the existence of a federal investigation into Conahan’s and Ciavarella’s financial ties to Powell.
The county and Pennsylvania Child Care agree to end the lease agreement. The two later negotiate new rates for children who are lodged at the center by the county
Michael T. Conahan officially retires as an Appeals Court Judge in Luzerne County, but continues to hear cases as a Senior Judge.
The commissioners begin negotiations to terminate the lease.
A draft of the state audit recommends that the state lower its reimbursements to the county by about $2 million per year, arguing its rates have been set too high in order to pay monthly lease payments to Pennsylvania Child Care.
Mark A. Ciavarella serves as President Judge in Luzerne County until he steps down hours before federal investigators announce Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael. T. Conahan have signed pleas admitting their guilt in a pay to play scheme.
The state Superior Court overturns Michael T. Conahan’s order to seal a lawsuit by Pennsylvania Child Care against controller Flood for releasing a state audit of the facility to the media.
County Controller Steve Flood subpoenas working papers from the unfinished state audit that call the lease a “bad deal” and allege Pennsylvania Child Care overcharged the county. Flood releases them to the press, drawing a lawsuit from Pennsylvania Child Care. The suit is sealed from public view by Judge Conahan at the company’s request.
Vonderheid and Skrepenak give final approval to the lease.
State auditors fax a letter warning commissioners to hold off on the lease. County officials say they didn’t receive it.
Vonderheid and Skrepenak give preliminary approval to a $58 million, 20-year lease.
Vonderheid and Skrepenak say they’re considering leasing the Pennsylvania Child Care center. The next day, the state Department of Public Welfare informs the county it is conducting an audit of the Pennsylvania Child Care facility.
Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. denies the county’s request for a zoning change to build a center in Plains Township.
Newly elected majority commissioners Todd Vonderheid and Greg Skrepenak take office.
The commissioners vote to borrow money to build a new county juvenile detention center.
The county commissioners approve use of the Pennsylvania Child Care center, which opens the next day.
The county closes its facility and begins lodging juveniles in other eastern Pennsylvania sites.
The state says it will issue a license for the county center, ruling it is safe.
Conahan announces through a spokesman that the county’s judges will stop sending juveniles to the county center in 2003, citing safety concerns.
Construction of the Pennsylvania Child Care facility by Mericle Construction Inc. is nearly complete, but the county commissioners decide against a lease agreement.
Michael T. Conahan became Luzerne County's first President Judge from Hazleton, holding the role until 2007 when Mark A. Ciavarella assume the position.
Powell is listed as an investor in Pennsylvania Child Care through Vision Holdings Inc. in mortgage documents as a Cayman Islands company. Vision Holdings is later registered as a Pennsylvania corporation.
Then-President Judge Michael T. Conahan, a friend of Powell’s, signs an agreement to house juveniles at the new facility, paying $1.3 million in rent per year.
The Luzerne County Planning Commission approves Pennsylvania Child Care’s construction plans despite opposition from some Pittston Township officials. Powell’s involvement in the center has yet to be made public. His law firm, which serves as solicitor to the commission, recuses itself, saying it had represented the company when it purchased the land for the center.
Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. meets with attorney Robert J. Powell (called Participant # 1 in federal charges filed Jan. 26) to discuss Powell’s plans to build a private juvenile detention center. Ciavarella introduces Powell to local developer Robert S. Mericle (called Participant # 2 in the federal charges)