Verdict in 'Kids for Cash' Trial

The former Luzerne County judge involved in the Kids for Cash scandal has been convicted of racketeering.

A jury found 61-year-old Mark Ciavarella guilty of 12 of 39 counts.

Federal prosecutors accused Ciavarella and a second judge, Michael Conahan, of taking nearly million in bribes from the builder of two juvenile detention centers and extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the facilities' co-owner. .He then sent children who committed minor offenses to the centers to keep the beds full and justify building the centers.

The state Supreme Court threw out about 5,000 convictions.

Judge John Cleland chaired the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice that investigated the Kids for Cash scandal and the underlying corruption in the county.

During a talk Wednesday at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Cleland said whether Ciavarella is convicted or not “makes no difference to the children involved.”

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