Disgraced Conahan in default for ignoring lawsuit

Even behind bars, disgraced former Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Conahan is still dodging the law.

Conahan, locked away in federal prison, has ignored a civil lawsuit filed against him in connection with the kids-for-cash judicial scandal, federal court officials said Thursday.

The acting clerk for U.S. District Court in Scranton on Thursday ruled Conahan is in default for “failure to answer, plead, or otherwise defend against the complaint.”

Conahan is a defendant in a class-action civil rights lawsuit on behalf of thousands of juveniles who appeared in court before his colleague, former Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. Both men are serving lengthy prison sentences for accepting kickbacks for placed juveniles in two for-profit detention centers. The default opens Conahan to damages when the case is finally resolved in federal court.

The suit also seeks damages from Ciavarella, PA Child Care LLC, Western PA Child Care LLC and Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corp., which own and operate the centers in Pittston Township and Butler County, and the former co-owner of those companies, Robert J. Powell, a Drums attorney who paid the judges $770,000.

Wealthy developer Robert K. Mericle, who paid $2.1 million to Conahan and Ciavarella, who placed juveniles in two for-profit detention centers built by his construction firm, is no longer a defendant in the lawsuits. He won court approval last year for a $17.75 million settlement with more than 1,000 former offenders who appeared in the county juvenile court in 2004-2008. After the suit was initially filed, Conahan asked a court to dismiss the suit on the basis of “judicial and legislative immunity.” Since a federal judge denied the request, Conahan has not responded to the suit, court documents filed Thursday said.

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Disgraced Conahan in default for ignoring lawsuit

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2 Responses to “Disgraced Conahan in default for ignoring lawsuit”

  1. StandUp Says:

    Disgraced, yes. But already I think people have forgotten.

  2. B Inberg Says:

    NEVER to be forgotten – this case will be remembered as real time how low can you go? The nerve claiming judicial immunity – this piece of ***** deserves oak tree justice – cheap and quick old time justice – poof the garbage is gone. One never knows who is sitting at the bench and what their motive and intent is.

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