Friday, August 12, 2011

What Have We Learned?

Former Luzerne County judge Mark Ciavarella has been sentenced and will be in prison for the next 28 years.

So, let's try to sum up the last three years.

>>Luzerne County is the "pay to play" county, and it's not what you know.  It's who you know.  The old boys network was in high gear.  Some red flags went up during the process of closing the old juvenile detention center and the leasing of the new one, but no one knew enough, or cared enough to ask the right questions.  Apparently, there was a sliver of light someone saw somewhere, and that kicked off the investigation that led us to this point.

>>The system is a disaster.  Too few judges, and a few others, got too powerful, and the law allowed them to operate in secrecy.

>>The media, in general, could have done a better job in keeping an eye on these rascals, but also, please note the previous statement.

>>Thousands of kids went before Ciavarella without legal representation.  No one cared, and that was backed up by the state panel that investigated this mess.  No one has been held responsible for that, and that is criminal in and of itself.

>>In a statement to the judge yesterday, the prosecutor quoted the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice report that said Ciavarella sold kids "wholesale." Mr. Prosecutor,  I sure wish you would have tried to show that during the trial.

>>I read some of the victim impact letters sent to court.  A few, from people in power, complained about the media scrutiny this has brought upon Luzerne County.  Too bad.  If you did your job in the first place, this never would have happened.

>>Ciavarella admitted being a hypocrite yesterday.  What took you so long?