Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It is something we wrestle with as journalists. It is something we wrestle with as human beings. Should some people be held to a higher standard? After all, we are all equal under the law. We are all equal in God's eyes, if you're a believer.

Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan have admitted to being dirty. They made secret deals and cashed in on them. They're going to jail, as it should be.

I've had limited dealings with Conahan. I've covered several guilty pleas and sentencings before Ciavarella. I always found him to be professional and a good judge-- harsh when he had to be, kind when called for, excellent demeanor on the bench. I was more disappointed than angry when I heard about the charges.

That brings us back to the original question of higher standards. I'm not perfect. Far from it. You can probably say the same thing about yourself.

Ciavarella and Conahan should have known better. They expected other people to follow the law while they acted as common thieves.

What a waste.