Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   5 comments

General News

Ciavarella Is Convicted: But The Kids For Cash Scandal Does NOT Come To An End

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Well Said 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 2/21/11

Become a Fan
  (36 fans)

Progressives aren't perfect, but this situation sounded like something the oh-so-righteous side would do: sending kids to detention centers for profit. But I delved into the situation of former juvenile court judge Mark Ciavarella, who was convicted today of racketeering and extortion charges and received a shock when I read TWO searing accounts:

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A former juvenile court judge was convicted yesterday of racketeering in a case that accused him of sending youth offenders to for-profit detention centers in exchange for millions of dollars in illicit payments from the builder and owner of the lockups.

And this:
Maybe the Luzerne County Democratic Committee can explain these donations from former Judge Mark Ciavarella to their party during his retention campaign. Sitting judges should not be making political donations according to the judicial cannons.

And some of the donations were under the auspice of HIS OWN "retention committee"! 

Now back to the real cause celebre: 

Ciavarella insists that he is innocent of the "kids for cash" scheme, but has pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering. Over $2 million in bribes and extortion were culled by the former judge who sentenced kids to the juvenile detention centers built by his cronies. 

Amidst all of the pleas of innocence in the "kids for cash" scheme, Ciavarella only admitted that he "neglected to report the payments on his tax returns and hid them from the public, but he denied any plot to take kickbacks or extort money." And while the trial wa strictly to concern itself solely with the aspect of bribes and extortion, the prosecutor did state that the kids were "pawns in a scheme to enrich himself."

Over 4000 convictions of young adults were dismissed when the state's Supreme Court ruled that Ciavarella had "complete disregard" of their constitutional rights. 

You can listen to some of the testimonies of the young victims HERE.

The irony that the verdict was mixed and at Ciavarello was not immediately incarcerated and let go on his own recognisance was not lost on Sandy Fonzo, the mother of one of Ciavarello's victims:

"My kid's not here anymore!" yelled Sandy Fonzo, whose son committed suicide last year at age 23. "He's dead! Because of him! He ruined my ... life! I'd like him to go to hell and rot there forever!" Ciavarella glanced at Fonzo, then turned his back.
Fonzo's son, Edward Kenzakowski, was a 17-year-old all-star wrestler with no prior record when he landed in Ciavarella's courtroom for possession of drug paraphernalia. She said her son never recovered from the months he served at the detention centers and a wilderness camp.
The court also noted the amount of donations Ciavarella gave to the Democratic National Committe - presumably helping him to keep his elected position on the bench. Sentencing will be next month, and although Ciavarella could receive a sentence amounting to the rest of his life, sources say that he will receive the minimum: 12 1/2 years. 

Ms. Fonzo would obviously like it to be a lot longer.

Two years ago, one comment about Ciavarello's donations to the Democratic Committee:
So there are corrupt Democrats? I suppose that means that the financial debacle the Republicans just brought us to means nothing, because there are are dishonest and greedy Democrats as well. That is a classic Republican response. Face it, Republicans have brought us to financial ruin, NOT Democrats.
I give up.

Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books €" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Joining "Bishop" Eddie Long, Prosperity Preacher Creflo Dollar Gets Support From His Fans...ala Mommy Dearest

The End Of An Era? Praise The Lord! Televangelist Paul Crouch Dies And Leaves Behind A Life Of Decadence Beyond Belief.

The Vatican's Fake Occupy Implodes: Documents Evoke A History Of Money Laundering, Sexual Terrorism, And Even ... Murder

"Some Girls Rape Easy": Hypocrisy, Sex and The Republican War Against Women.

Holy Misogyny! Dating Advice From Megachurch Minister: "Dress Modestly And Save Yourself ... For Me!"

The Senility Defense: Pat Robertson Goes To Trial In The Court Of Public Opinion.


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I don't really know. We'll wait until the sentenci... by Rev. Dan Vojir on Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 9:25:25 AM
4000! Let's hope he hasn't ruined the lives of all... by Rev. Dan Vojir on Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 11:31:27 AM
WOW! The response to this article has been phenome... by Rev. Dan Vojir on Monday, Feb 21, 2011 at 6:46:58 PM
Ciavarella is a giant stronzo!... by Linda Ross on Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011 at 3:43:20 AM
although the horror of what this despicable judge ... by Archie on Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011 at 11:16:12 PM