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January 27, 2009

Chancellor Expresses Outrage at Public Corruption of Judges

Philadelphia--On behalf of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Chancellor Sayde Ladov expressed outrage at the news of public corruption by two judges in Luzerne County, PA, including the President Judge.

According to federal prosecutors, the pair participated in a $2.6 million scheme to defraud taxpayers by taking kickbacks related to the construction of juvenile detention facilities in Luzerne County and elsewhere. Yesterday, the two judges agreed to plead guilty to public corruption and agreed to serve seven years in federal prison, according to Associated Press reports.

“We are appalled that these judges would permit their positions to be compromised by greed, putting into jeopardy the lives and futures of juveniles coming before them,” said Ladov. “We recognize that this type of conduct erodes the public trust and confidence in our judicial system, especially when dealing with youth – our most vulnerable population.”

“Whether it be in Philadelphia, Luzerne or any other county in the Commonwealth, alleged judicial misconduct will continue to be investigated, and action will be taken by the appropriate authorities. The Luzerne County judges have agreed to plead guilty to these charges and have agreed to be disbarred. Issues of civil liability may now arise. In addition, it should open the door to a reinvestigation of each and every case handled by these judges."

She continues, “As I have stated previously, the vast majority of the bench is composed of highly qualified, honorable and honest people who take their responsibilities to the public very seriously. Investigations such as these serve to maintain the integrity of that system and ensure that justice is served.”
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