Two Pennsylvania Judges have been locked up for 17 years and 28 years for incarcerating 4,000 innocent young offenders in exchange for $2.8 million dollars in payments from the owner of two private, for-profit, youth correctional centres.
Judge Michael Conahan, who plead guilty, received a 17-year sentence, while his co-conspirator Judge Mark Ciavarella, who denied his guilt throughout a lengthy trial, was found guilty and sentenced to 28- years imprisonment.
Conahan’s lawyer advised the media that his client was “bitterly disappointed” with the lengthy sentence but would not appeal. During the sentencing former Judge Conahan apologized to the children and their families saying “My actions undermined your faith in the system and contributed to the difficulty in your lives. I am sorry you were victimized.”
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has now overturned 4,000 of the juvenile convictions.
Conahan and Ciavarella initially plead guilty to honest services fraud and tax evasion and plea-bargained a 7-year sentence, however, the trial judge refused to accept the plea, ruling that neither
offender had accepted responsibility for their actions.
The judicial scam unravelled when reputed mob boss William “Big Bully” D’Elia was arrested on charges of witness tampering, solicitation of murder and conspiracy to launder drug money and turned government informant. D’Elia and Judge Conahan were buddies.
D’Elia sang like a canary after he was arrested and no wonder, he faced 30-years in prison and a $750,000 fine. He was sentenced to nine years in jail which was later reduced by 21-months for his testimony in another high-profile Pennsylvania case involving casino owner Louis DeNaples and his priest Father Sica.
Conahan must also pay fines and restitution of almost $900,000 and will likely be sued civilly by his victims’ parents.
Was it worth it? I think not. Contrary to Hollywood hype, greed is never good. All the world’s religions condemn greed: “For the love of money is a root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang