Lokuta sues former judges over removal from bench

Deposed former Luzerne County Judge Ann H. Lokuta, silent for more than 15 months after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected her appeal, re-emerged with a vengeance Wednesday, firing a federal civil rights lawsuit at the colleagues and officials she said conspired to oust her from the bench.

Lokuta, the first woman to sit on the Luzerne County bench, filed the lawsuit in an attempt to reverse a state judicial discipline panel’s ruling four years ago that removed her from office, stripped her state-funded medical benefits, life insurance and vested pension, and precluded her from holding future judicial office. Lokuta, 59, also asked for unspecified monetary damages.

Lokuta and her attorneys, George A. Michak and Ronald V. Santora, reiterated in the lawsuit her long-held contention that former county president Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan orchestrated her removal because she cooperated with federal investigators probing their pocketing of $2.8 million in payoffs from the backers of a pair of for-profit detention centers.

Lokuta claimed the former judges testified against her before the state Court of Judicial Discipline to punish her for continuing to speak to federal agents. The former judges, she said, used their influence over courthouse personnel to persuade more than two dozen other witnesses to substantiate allegations Lokuta showed up late for court, berated attorneys and court staff members and misappropriated county resources.

“Lokuta was subject to relentless intimidation and retaliation by (Conahan and Ciavarella), particularly Conahan, as they controlled the Luzerne County Courthouse as their private domain and crushed anyone who failed to follow their directives,” the lawsuit said.

Full Article & Source:
Lokuta sues former judges over removal from bench

See Also:
Lokuta’s Last Shot at Reinstatement

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4 Responses to “Lokuta sues former judges over removal from bench”

  1. Thelma Says:

    I don't recall how much jail time those two bums on the bench got, but I hope it was a lot!If Lokuta was a whistleblower, she should have been restored to the bench, but the whole system is sicker than sick!

  2. StandUp Says:

    She's got so much spunk and I wish her success.

  3. Luis Says:

    I hope those two rats die in jail!

  4. fiduciarywatch.org Says:

    Whistleblower or not, this Judge is just as bad as those other two bums, because the whole system is corrupt.

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