Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1465, Feb. 8th, 2011

TRIAL UPDATE...........


Four witnesses took the stand today in the Corruption trial of former Judge Mark Ciavarella. They were:
A forensic IRS agent that who testified about financial transactions between the Powell group and the Ciavarella bank accounts. The agent revealed that nearly 1/2 millions of dollars in checks were cashed by both Mrs. Ciavarella and Conahan. A number of interstate banking transactions were entered into the record by the prosecution with no rebuttal by the defense. The sheer number of exhibits and accounts was mind numbing for members of the press and the jury.
Mikail DiPasquelle, a member of the Pennsylvania Judicial Services testified about financial disclosure forms made from 2003 to 2007. Ciavarella listed his only income as his salary while Conahan listed Beverage Marketing, 21st and Vine as well as a membership on a bank board. Defense Attorneys asked if Judges were required to report income under penalty of law and the Judicial system employee said that was not listed on the form.
Former Luzerne County Commissioner Tom Makowski testified about the history of the building of the Juvenile Detention Center. The purpose of the questioning of Makowaski by the prosecution was to establish a link between the need for the facility as well as the suggestion that the two Judges, Conahan nd Ciavarella strongly advocated for the need for one. Makowski recounted the deplorable condition of the facility as well as the cost of the beds. Makowski who served as Commissioner from 1996 to 2003 said he had no idea a commitment to a new facility was given to Pa. Child Care. Defense attorney Bill Rizzo hammered home the point that the county held the purse strings and that the Commissioners approved a 9 million dollar bond issue for it. Rizzo asked repeatedly why it wasn't built with that bond issue. The defense tried to make the connection that a child care facility was needed along no matter who was in charge of the Luzerne Ciunty Judiciary. The Prosecution contended that action did not happen until Conahan was the President Judge and Ciavarella was the Juvenile Court Judge.
The Prosecution read a stipulation from minority commissioner Steve Urban who said he knew a new facility was needed. But Urban stressed he had no information on the facility expansion by PA Child Care until the fall of 2004 well after the new Commissioners Greg Skrepanak and Todd Vonderheid took office.
At 10 minutes to 4, developer Rob Mericle took the stand. The Prosecution asked that his testimony be deferred until Wednesday but Judge Edwin Kosik allowed it. Mericle talked about his business as well as knowing Ciavarella since he (Mericle) was 16. The Prosecution asked him to explain his two plea agreements, the first one and the latest one that added more time to his ultimate plea. Like a cliff hanger from a made for TV mini series, just as the Prosecution was asking Mericle to define a finder's fee regarding the Ciavarella trial, the Judge declared that testimony would resume at 8:30AM Wednesday morning. To be continued.....
LuLac isr eporting on the trial for WYLN TV 35's Late Edition.


At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ciavarella is going to walk... I got a bad feeling....

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Delighted to see that you are covering the trial. Although you may suffer long periods of boredom
we will get an accurate and often insightful view inside the courtroom and a much apppreciated
take from outside the regular local
media. A LuLac coup.


At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, I sort of agree with 7:19. The court system doesn't have a very good track record in this area, and that SOB is a slick one.


Post a Comment

<< Home