A developer at the center of one of the biggest judicial scandals in U.S. history is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Federal prosecutors say two Luzerne County judges took $2.1 million in kickbacks from Robert Mericle, builder of a pair of for-profit youth detention centers. Former Judges Mark Ciavarella Jr. and Michael Conahan are serving lengthy prison sentences for their roles in the so-called “kids for cash” scandal.
Mericle pleaded guilty to concealing a felony. He faces eight to 14 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines but could receive less based on his testimony against Ciavarella. Mericle will be sentenced by a federal judge in Scranton.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out some 4,000 juvenile convictions issued by Ciavarella, saying he routinely trampled on juvenile offenders’ civil rights.