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Friday, October 30, 2009

Judicial "Kids for Cash" UPDATE - "Losing Faith in the Justice System"

Pa. Supreme Court Throws Out Thousands of Juvenile Delinquency Cases
Court Says Cases Tainted by Alleged Kickback Scheme Involving Corrupt Judge
ABC NEWS by FRANK MASTROPOLO, LAUREN PEARLE and GLENN RUPPEL - October 29, 2009

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled late Thursday that almost all juvenile delinquency cases heard by an indicted former judge must be thrown out. The ruling means cases heard by former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella from Jan. 1, 2003 to May 31, 2008 are in question for fairness and impartiality. Ciavarella faces criminal charges that accuse him of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks from owners of private detention centers in exchange for placing juvenile defendants at their facilities, often for minor crimes. In one reported case, a college-bound high school student served three weeks in juvenile detention for making fun of the school principal on a Web site. The court said that it "cannot have any confidence that Ciavarella decided any Luzerne County juvenile case fairly and impartially while he labored under the specter of his self-interested dealings with the facilities," and called Ciavarella's actions a "travesty of juvenile justice." The decision could impact up to 6,500 Pennsylvania youth, whose juvenile detention records will now be erased and their cases dismissed without the possibility of retrial.

Most of the affected youth have already served their time. In Pennsylvania, juvenile criminal records are not automatically expunged when children turn 18, so Thursday's ruling could give thousands of kids a clean slate, said Marsha Levick, deputy director of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia and an attorney for the children. About 100 Pennsylvania children could now be released from juvenile detention or taken off of probation, according to Levick. "The court's far-reaching order is an exceptional response to the most serious judicial scandal in the history of the United States," Levick told ABC News. The ruling is the latest stunning development in a story of corruption that first shocked Luzerne County residents in January 2009. Federal prosecutors announced that respected county judges Ciavarella and Michael Conahan had pleaded guilty to tax evasion and honest services fraud. However, their plea deal and relatively light sentence were later rejected by a federal judge who ruled that Ciavarella and Conahan had failed to accept responsibility for their crimes. In fact, Ciavarella had previously told "20/20" that "we would never agree that [the kids' sentencing] was improper." Now, the two former judges face much more serious federal racketeering, bribery, and extortion charges. All of this is the result of a lengthy investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI. Ciavarella and Conahan have pleaded not guilty. "They sold their oath of offices to the highest bidders and engaged in ongoing schemes to defraud the public of honest services that were expected from them," Deron Roberts, chief of the FBI's Scranton office, said at a late January news conference announcing the case. The judges' arrests shed light on a mystery in Luzerne County: Why were so many kids getting sent directly to juvenile detention after seeing Ciavarella in his Wilkes-Barre juvenile court? And why were those kids sent away in such a rush?

'I Had No Clue What to Say'

Eric Stefanski had never been in trouble before he found himself in front of Ciavarella, who took office in 1996. "I was 12 years old when I got locked up. I had no clue what to say when he asked me how do I plead," Stefanski told "20/20" correspondent Jim Avila. "I was 12 years old. I didn't know too much about the court system." His offense? He went joyriding with his mom's car and ran over a barrier, smashing the undercarriage. No one was hurt, not even Stefanski, but in order to get her insurance to pay for the damage, his mom, Linda Donovan, had to file a police report. Donovan even thought an appearance before a judge would be good for her son and give him a little scare. She wasn't prepared for what happened when Eric came before Ciavarella. "He read me my charges and said, 'How do you plead?' And I didn't know what to say, so I looked at my mom, and I guess she didn't know I was looking, and I said, 'Guilty,'" Stefanski said. "That's when I turned around, I looked at my mom and she started crying."

'The Most Egregious Abuse of Power'

Stefanski was locked up for two years. He was not represented by an attorney, his mom said, because she didn't think he needed one. "His first offense, he's so young, I just didn't think that it was necessary," Donovan said. It's not supposed to be like this in juvenile court, where incarceration is considered the last resort, legal experts said. But Levick told ABC News she saw a disturbing trend inside Ciaravella's courtroom. And she had the evidence to back it up, she claimed. "The numbers of children going into placement in Luzerne County tended to be two to three times higher than in other counties," she said. Levick said kids were being locked up for minor infractions. "A child who shoplifted a $4 bottle of nutmeg," she said. "A child who was charged with conspiracy to shoplift because he was present when his friend was shoplifting. A child who put up a MySpace page, taunting her school administrator. "I think what we have here in Luzerne County is probably the most egregious abuse of power in the history of the American legal system," Levick said. Levick turned her findings over to the FBI, and the outcome rocked the Pennsylvania justice system. Ciavarella and Conahan had allegedly devised a plot to use their positions as judges to pad their pockets. They shut down the old county-run juvenile detention center by first refusing to send kids there and, then, by cutting off funds, choking it out of existence. They then replaced the facility with a cash cow -- a privately owned lockup built by the judges' cronies -- and forged a deal for the county to pay $58 million for a 10-year period for its use. At the time, Conahan was serving as president judge of the Luzerne County Common Pleas Court, a position that allowed him to control the county-court budget. Ciavarella was the Luzerne County juvenile court judge. In the judges' original plea deal, they admitted that they took more than $2.6 million in payoffs from the private youth detention center between 2003 and 2006. Prosecutors said the judges attempted to hide their income from the scheme by creating false records and routing payments through intermediaries. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court removed them from their duties after federal prosecutors filed charges Jan. 26. The investigation is ongoing. "The defendants engaged in fraud by taking millions of dollars in connection with the construction, operation and expansion of juvenile detention facilities here in Luzerne County," U.S. Attorney Martin Carlson said. And, according to state statistics, Ciavarella's incarceration rates of juveniles jumped after the privately owned juvenile detention center opened. "The information alleges that the judges ordered juveniles into these detention facilities, the facilities in which they had a financial interest, and on occasion that those orders were done, despite the recommendation of juvenile probation officers that the child not be detained, not be imprisoned," Carlson said. Ciavarella denies having sentenced kids for cash, and told ABC News last spring, "I'm not pleading guilty to anything relative to cash for kids, embezzlement, extortion, quid pro quo. Absolutely not."

Losing Faith in the Justice System

Dave Janoski, projects editor of the Citizens Voice newspaper of Wilkes-Barre, said, "You could see that, at the very moment, when they could make the most money, that's when the number of kids spiked." Many Wilkes-Barre residents exploded with anger when they heard that men they elected, and trusted to judge their children, had profited from their incarceration. "There's been a lot of outrage," said Terrie Morgan-Besecker, staff writer for the Times Leader newspaper in Wilkes-Barre. "I think a lot of them have lost faith in the system of justice ... that they went in there blindly thinking that they were going to talk to the judge, he was going to listen to them and hand down an appropriate punishment ... and they're just yanked away from their parents and put in shackles," she said. "It just left them absolutely stunned and not believing that this could happen." Many people wanted to know who was looking out for the kids as they worked their way through the judicial system. "I think that we had a conspiracy of silence going on in Luzerne County," Levick said. "There were officers of the court, there were members of the district attorney's office, members of probation, private lawyers, public defenders, who were in the courtroom every day. And they had to know what was happening and whether it was by virtue of intimidation or an unwillingness to get involved. The fact remains that nobody stood up." When Ciavarella was asked about families' complaints of his rapid-fire brand of justice and trials that lasted only minutes with even first-time offenders sent to detention centers, he told "20/20," "You take a look at their file and you look to see if this was the first time they had a run-in with the law. It might have been the first time they're in front of me. You may be surprised that it's not going to be as clear-cut as they would like you to think."

'The Judge Is Incorrect'

But Arthur Grim, a Pennsylvania juvenile judge himself, who was assigned to review Ciavarella's cases, said Ciavarella is wrong. "Kids were in there for relatively minor first-time offenses and ended up being placed," Grim said. "The judge is incorrect. "I'm seeing cases which seem to take in the neighborhood of a minute-and-a-half to three minutes. ... That simply is not the way to do business." Chief Justice Ronald Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court told ABC News last spring that "the Supreme Court is committed to righting whatever wrong was perpetrated on Luzerne's juveniles and their families." Thursday, he delivered on that promise.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous. The president must do something about the National problem of corruption in our judiciary.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE !!!!
PLEASE !!!!
COME TO COLUMBIA COUNTY NEW YORK AND GET THIS SO-CALLED-JUDGE PAUL CZAJKA OFF THE BENCH. HE HIS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF CHILDREN REMOVED FROM THEIR HOMES THAN ANY JUDGE IN THIS STATE. PLEASE!! FOR THE LOVE PF GOD, COME HERE AND REMOVE HIM!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The New York Courts are nothing but a flea market to sell children to the parent with money. In some cases for sexual exploitation, just a pedophilia RING!!!

Anonymous said...

this is disgusting protecting evil
so that they can create another generation of ilk!
arrest these scumbags,
including Cahill Cohen and the rest of the gang!

Anonymous said...

hey gov't guys,
this is all because we are too civilized
I would like to take the opportunity to tell you you have our permission to return the favor to these corrupt bastards......
this includes and is not limited to:
stalking them on a daily basis

file false instruments and have them arrested
harass their family friends neighbors

tell as many disgusting rumors about them every where they go

have their neighbors harass them and then camcord them claiming they are doing something to them
have a prostitute try lewd and lascivious behavior, see if they go for it

make sure there are a few fender benders so you can discredit them in court.......

the list goes on and on.....

time to return the favor

Anonymous said...

Why does Administration for Childrens' Services ("ACS") routinely sweep under the rug allegations of child abuse, child neglect, and child molestation (even when they are provided photographs, physical evidence, and tape recordings proof) whenever Sanctuary for Families starts representing the abusive mother?

Is it because Sanctuary for Families is an ultra militant Feminazi-lesbian organization which would rather neuter and castrate men and good fathers, rather than help ACS investigate and prosecute abusive, psychotic, alcoholic, violent, drug-addicted single mothers just because they are women?

Or is it also because Sanctuary for Families, a tax-exempt organization, routinely offers highly paid and cushy job offers to former ACS Investigators if they "play ball" and help illegally protect abusive and sick mothers who beat their kids?

Who can say for sure?

The Sexual Revolution is over.

Men LOST. Lesbian Feminazis WON.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Sanctuary for Families has more money and political connections than God, and routinely uses "affiliate" Manhattan Mega-Law Firms of 10,000 plus lawyers, whom they "associate," to kick the living crap out of good men and fathers in Family Court, all for free, on behalf of sick, abusive, alcoholic, drug addicted and violent single mothers.

These corrupt mega law firms, while touting and bragging that they are "doing all the work for free" or "pro bono," are actually billing the Federal Government up the ass for thousands of fraudulent hours of work on behalf of these "abused women" con-artist females and Sanctuary for Families, under VAWA-based federal funding programs.

Hey, in a bad economy, fraudulently bilking the Federal Government with bogus and frivolous litigation, on behalf of "fake abused women," for hundreds of millions a dollars a year, ain't a bad racket.

The only problem is, no one cares that innocent babies and children are routinely getting killed, maimed, abused, neglected, and molested by some of these sick single unfit mothers because their good fathers have been completely shut out of their lives. This is all the while Sanctuary for Families subverts and sabotages the ACS investigative process, interrogates and intimidates witnesses, targets good fathers and witnesses for personal and professional destruction, engages in illegal ex-parte communication with Court appointed Court Officials and Judges, pays people off, bribes people, and destroys families, all for the sake of the almighty dollar, greed, and God knows what other type of benefits they get out of it.

Sick people indeed.

Tim Geithner, Henry Paulson, Benjamin Bernanke, and Goldman Sachs could take lessons from these fraudsters.

Anonymous said...

New York, NY - Scathing Report Exposes Problems With ACS

http://www.vosizneias.com/10994/2007/08/09/new-york-ny-scathing-report-exposes/

New York, NY - The city issued a damning report on its child welfare agency today, calling for significant change in the way caseworkers look into allegations of abuse and neglect after 10 children died as a result of bungled investigations.

The city's Department of Investigation said it probed the deaths of 11 children and one who nearly drowned in an eight-month stretch. DOI said that in all the cases, the Administration for Children's Services was either investigating the parents or had completed its findings.

"In all but one of these cases, DOI has found that the investigations conducted by ACS were substantially inadequate and incomplete," the 141-page report said.

The sharply critical report outlines a troubling pattern of lying, incompetence, carelessness, ill-trained caseworkers and the grim details of the little children whose deaths likely could have been prevented, according to the report.

Mayor Bloomberg ordered the DOI investigation after widespread concern about ACS's ability to properly investigate and respond to abuse allegations.

The report said caseworkers routinely took the word of parents who denied the allegations. At other times, managers put pressure on caseworkers to "close cases within the state-mandated 60 day period at the expense of a thorough and thoughtful investigation of the allegations."

Shoddy work was rampant.

Anonymous said...

Recruiting new children into the Global Child Sex Trafficking/Pornography Industry, worth trillions of dollars worldwide, works this way in the United States (especially in the corrupt New York City Family Courts):

A Prostitute, usually coming from this same industry, entraps and has a child with a wealthy but naive father who she then divorces and makes him pay a fortune in mandatory Child Support, about 21% of his income a year for 21 years.

All the while, she provokes and instigates him repeatedly until he reacts and she can then obtain Orders of Protection against him, so he can never even see his own kids, but still pays a fortune in support.

Usually some type of Domestic Violence Women's group will represent that con-artist woman/prostitute for free, said group routinely staffed with Pedophiles and Sexual Deviants who also support and actively partake in the Global Child Sex Trafficking Industry. Some of these "agencies" even are so bold as to have a "wing" of their organization devoted to "stopping or preventing child sex trafficking." (The Lady Doth Protest Too Much - William Shakespeare) to further obfuscate and cover their tracks and true intentions.

This is all the while the poor SOB Father has to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawyers who always lose, owing to the above, and the following:

The Family Court Judges in New York City and the Law Guardian chosen in these child custody cases (and the Court Appointed Forensic Psychologists) are also Perverts, Pedophiles, and they support and participate in the Global Child Sex Trafficking/Pornography Industry, and may even be willing and active participants.

The Family Court Judge and Law Guardian are literally hand picked by the "Domestic Violence Women's Lobbying Group" to ensure that those kids never ever see their Fathers (who can protect them) again, by repeatedly and consistently disallowing those Fathers to see their children, with less and less time, until finally the Father's Parental Rights are terminated for good, leaving those poor defenseless children in the sole custody of that vile, drug addicted, alcoholic, violent, deranged, descendent of the child porn industry prostitute mother, who now, free to do so without any prevention by the estranged and removed Biological Father - SURPRISE! sells those kids off to the highest bidder in the Global Child Sex Trafficking/Pornography Industry, again, worth trillions of dollars a year.

And then the cycle repeats itself a generation later with those "sold off children" doing it to their own kids, their souls having been lost forever.

Meanwhile the FBI, ICE, DHS, and other Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies do absolutely nothing (many of them may be pedophiles, partaking of this child sex industry as well).

These "law enforcement agencies" will tell you "it's not in their Mandate" or "there's nothing we can do," and will tell you to refer it to the Administration for Childrens Services ("ACS") which is equally if not more corrupt, also staffed with incompetents and corrupt caseworkers, and at the higher levels perverts and pedophiles, and also just as beholden and owned by the Global Child Sex Trafficking/Pornography Industry as the specially selected Family Court Judges and Law Guardians.

All ACS ever does is sweep legitimate allegations and complaints about the above under the rug, while attacking and vilifying the Complainant.

In other words, there is a Grand Conspiracy of Global Child Sex Trafficking, completely fool proof and airtight, and no one can (or will) do a goddamned thing about it.

If you try and complain about it, or try and launch an investigation into it, both you and your world will be crushed by the awesome money, power, political connections, lobbying groups, and "professionals" in charge of maintaining and preserving this "industry."

Count on it.

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2