Feds probe developer in judicial misconduct
By The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 7:51 p.m.
SCRANTON — Federal prosecutors said on Thursday they are seeking a hearing to determine whether a developer at the center of one of the biggest judicial scandals in U.S. history violated the terms of his plea agreement and committed new crimes while awaiting sentencing.
Robert K. Mericle has failed to live up to his obligations under a plea deal, the U.S. attorney's office said in court papers filed in Scranton. Prosecutors asked a judge to hold a hearing on the matter.
Federal prosecutors accused two Luzerne County judges of taking more than $2 million in kickbacks from Mericle, the 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 “kids for cash” scandal.
Mericle, who pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony, is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 26.
Prosecutors did not elaborate on why they believe Mericle has breached his plea deal, or what new crimes he might have committed since pleading guilty.
Mericle and his company, Wilkes-Barre-based Mericle Construction Inc., agreed to pay more than $17 million to settle a civil lawsuit filed by youth offenders who were locked up in the PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care detention centers.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out thousands of juvenile convictions after the judges were charged in 2009.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Contract arranged Pennsylvania Game Commission director’s early exit
- Gas tax could factor into Pennsylvania gubernatorial race
- CSX makes deal with state on shipments of hazardous materials
- Supreme Court ruling to affect few bicycle trails in Pennsylvania
- Worker for Latrobe-based Xcoal on ill-fated flight
- Military veteran ID cards granted on honor system
- Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to threat against Obama
- Pennsylvania drug program portrayed as a life-saving tool
- Retired Pa. Game Commission chief to get $220K severance payment
- Coroner: Pa. trooper’s pregnant wife died of gunshot
- Oscar-winning director Demme’s ‘Outsider’ art collection set for sale