Friday, September 23, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1767, September 23rd, 2011




Michael Conahan’s Judicial career always was about the numbers. He was one of the youngest District Magistrates appointed in the area. He was one of the youngest President Judges on the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. The money he spent on unseating an incumbent Judge was chronicled as the new wave of campaigning in the early 90s. Even when Conahan was being investigated, there were figures and numbers being bandied about.
But today, Conahan's Defense Attorney Phil Gelso talked about his young son telling him that this was the first day of autumn. Gelso then launched into a statement about how Conahan’s life is almost like fall mosaic. You can’t just look at the numbers or the facts and figures of the corruption case bit you must look in totality at the defendant’s entire life.
Gelso painted Conahan as a person who was not all he seemed to be on the surface, a power broker ever confident of his own abilities. He spoke of Conahan as a young man dominated and driven by an ambitious father. A father who sometimes beat him mercilessly. Gelso was also not afraid to again put on trial former Judge Mark Ciavarella again saying that his client was taking responsibility for his actions, unlike Ciavarella. Gelso said that Conahan voluntarily went into counseling so that he could uncover the demons that made him do the things he did. Gelso said that family members also participated in the counseling and that Conahan came out of it a changed man willing to say he was sorry for his actions and taking full blame for it.
Conahan spoke before the Court. Unlike Ciavarella who strode to a podium, Conahan sat hunched over intently reading a statement. He said that he let the children down, the county residents down and the probation and juvenile communities down. I was the president judge, I owed you better.
"I lost my way," he said, adding that "any good I did will be overshadowed by my criminal actions."
Conahan said he "worked long and hard to try to understand" his actions. and that he "will work the rest of my life to atone."
At least four times Conahan said the system is not corrupt. I was corrupt”.
Unlike the Ciavarella sentencing, there was a subdued also funeral atmosphere in the courtroom. Conahan relatives were dressed in black, almost by design. They sadly exchanged embraces and hugs outside Courtroom number 1 before the sentencing began. There were no people attired in tee shirts and the mood was somber. Judge Kosik took note of Gelso’s and Conahan’s statements. He said that he understood Conahan was an individual that did good things in his life. Kosik also said that Conahan wore the same robe he did and that it did not entitle him to special consideration or rewards. Despite Gelso’s attempt at making Conahan’s total life about a mosaic, the numbers won out in the final analysis. Like marks on a campaign finance report, or on a bank statement, or on a court document, it came down to the numbers Kosik pronounced.
210 months, 17 and a ½ years, $20,100 in fines and $874,000 in restitution. Conahan will reportedly go to a facility in Pensacola Florida to continue the mosaic of his life that his Defense Attorney referred to this morning.


Post a Comment

<< Home