Thursday, August 11, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1711, August 11th, 2011



The following is my scripted news report for WYLN TV 35's Late Edition.
Today in Courtroom number 1 in the Federal Building in Scranton, former Judge Mark Ciavarella learned his fate. His sentence: 336 months, if you do that math quickly that is 28 years. U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod argued for a sentence that would send Ciavarella to prison "for the remainder of his natural life." Pending any appeals, Ciavarella 61 will be 89 years old when he gets out of jail. Court began promptly at 9am today. In the front row were Ciavarella’s immediate family members and in laws. In the back row wearing tee shirts with the face her of son Edward Kenzakoski III, emblazoned on them was Sandy Fonzo. As Ciavarella sat stoically defense Attorneys Al Flora and William Ruzzo asked the Judge for a lesser sentence. Attorney Bill Ruzzo said murderers he defended were given shorter sentences than Ciavarella was facing. The real drama in the morning came when Ciavarella spoke on his own behalf. He began by publicly apologizing to his family, his relatives, his friends, the people of Luzerne County as well as any Juveniles saying "I ask forgiveness for being a hypocrite and not doing what I preached."He told the court that if his actions put a tarnish on the Judicial system or the hard workers in the Probation Office, he was sorry. He took issue with the fact that this was a Cash for Kids scheme. He outlined for the court his first plea agreement saying that the phrase Cash for Kids wasn’t even in play until a U.S. Attorney went to the press and made that statement. It was then Ciavarella said that he would fight that perception.
Ciavarella was defiant, insisting once more that he never accepted money in exchange for sending juveniles to a private detention facilities. "I ask the government to release my entire investigative file," he said, "let everyone judge if there is any believable evidence.
Ciavarella said he has been convicted in public for a crime he did not commit, saying the Prosecution never proved he sold kids for cash. He revealed today that prosecutors attempted to file charges against his daughter Lauren in a show of force to get him to plead guilty.
Throughout Ciavarella’s statement there was restrained respect and no outbursts, I’m told that this was not the case in overflow Courtroom number 2 where there was laughter and scorn directed at his statements.
Judge Kosik said that sentencing day is never an easy thing. As he imposed the sentence, Ciavarella leaned forward in anticipation as Kosik began announcing the terms. 336 months, served concurrently. 28 years as well as making restitution of $965,9300 to the Commonwealth for his judicial salary and $207,861 in restitution related to the tax charges. Judge Kosik then went on to stipulate other aspects of the sentence like parole after the sentence was served but by that time the enormity of the edict was setting in. After Judge Kosik left the Courtroom, Ciavarella stood talking to his attorneys, his family sat quietly in the front row and Sandy Fonzo gave out a measured voice of approval for most of the courtroom to hear.
Ciavarealla voluntarily was remanded to custody. The Courtroom was cleared of everyone except family members and Government personnel. Then the entire fourth floor was cleared. As the people filed out, the doors to Courtroom # 1 closed in this most public of cases for Mark Ciavarella to have a few private minutes alone with his family before he starts serving his 28 year sentence.


At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that if he wants his investigative report released, it should be. He is the one who is going to do the time and he deserves to al the very least have the satisfaction of having all of the facts available to those who care.


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