2009-03-05 / Local & State

Third Lawsuit Targets Pa. Judges Over Fraud

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A third class-action lawsuit is being filed on behalf of juvenile offenders in a Pennsylvania county bogged down by a corruption scandal.

Federal prosecutors say former judges Mark Ciavarella (shiv-ah-REL'-lah) and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in private lockups. Both presided over cases in Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center says it will file the lawsuit in federal court on Thursday. The lawsuit alleges a conspiracy by Ciavarella, Conahan and others that violated the juveniles' civil rights as well as racketeering laws.

Two other lawsuits making similar allegations were filed Feb. 12 and 13.

Both judges recently pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

Return to top