Friday, September 23, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1769, Sepember 23rd, 2011




Formr Judge Michael Conahan strode into Federal court this morning with his wife Barbie and faced his sentencing on one count of racketeering. The atmosphere surrounding this sentencing was different than the Ciavarella court drama. There were no parents with tee shirts sitting in the courtroom proclaiming how unfair the Juvenile justice system was in Luzerne County. They didn’t have to be, because in a statement to the court, Conahan apologized to the parents and the kids, as well as the probation and court officers he served under. Conahan said more than once, “the system was not corrupt, I was corrupt.” Conahan did have his supporters, three full rows of family members who he received one by one as he entered the courtroom. Not everyone there this morning though was a Conahan fan. Former Judge Anne Lokuta attended. She had her battles with Conahan.
Another former Judge loomed large in the courtroom too. Defense attorney Phil Gelso contrasted Conahan’s behavior and remorse with the actions of the more combative Ciavarella.
Gelso said that after the 2009 plea bargain was rejected, Conahan underwent physcological counseling which Gelso said did not excuse Conahan’s actions but explained them. Gelso said Conahan’s silence in contrast to Ciavarela’s media statements was meant to start the healing process.
Judge Edwin Kosik said that even though he saw that Conahan took responsibility for his actions, he was nonetheless part of a cabal against corruption. Kosik said that in the presentence report that referred to the counseling sessions, Conahan’s sisters said that their brother operated in gray areas of morality. Kosik said that was a rather striking comment as far as he was concerned.
Kosik pronounced a sentence of 210 months or 17 and a half years, he was also ordered to pay $20,100 in fines and $874,000 in restitution.
Conahan is reportedly going to a facility in Pensacola, Florida so that his family will have access to him. he can also participate in a drug and alcohol program offered by the prison system that may have an impact on his sentence.


Post a Comment

<< Home