It’s on the front page of today’s Philadelphia Inquirer:
Kickback charges for 2 Pa. judges¹
By John Sullivan, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
SCRANTON – Two top Luzerne County Court judges took kickbacks to place juvenile offenders in detention centers, even ordering some to be locked up against the recommendations of probation officers, federal authorities said yesterday.
President Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Judge Michael T. Conahan agreed to a plea deal that would send them to prison for seven years, according to an agreement filed in federal court Monday.
The judges allegedly concealed $2.6 million in payments from one of the owners of the centers and an unnamed person, authorities said. At the same time, the judges also worked to ensure that the facilities reaped millions of dollars in business by sending them a steady number of juveniles.
But, while there’s much more at the link, the information you won’t find at the link is: to which political party do the two judges belong?
Naturally, upon reading this, I had to wonder: were these crooks Republicans, or were they Democrats? The information wasn’t easy to find, but it did exist.
HAZLETON JUSTICE SEEKS JUDGE POST
Times Leader, The (Wilkes Barre, PA) – Sunday, February 28, 1993
Author: DIONNE PEEPLES-SALAH; Times Leader Staff Writer
WILKES-BARRE — Hazleton District Justice Michael Conahan , 41, cq said integrity and independence are important qualities of any judge. If elected as Luzerne County Judge he said he will work hard to uphold them.
Amid a crowd of family and friends, Conahan , a Democrat , announced Saturday that he would seek election to the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.
And for the other convicted felon:
JUDGE HOPEFUL CIAVARELLA STRESSES COURT EXPERIENCE
Times Leader, The (Wilkes Barre, PA) – Friday, April 7, 1995
Author: JIM VAN NOSTRAND; Times Leader Staff Writer
WILKES-BARRE — Mark Ciavarella Jr . won’t need any on-the-job training to be a Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas judge, he said Thursday.
Nineteen years as a local attorney and 132 trials, mostly civil cases, have given him the experience and temperament required to wear a judge’s robes, he said.
“I believe I can make an impact and a difference,” Ciavarella told The Times Leader’s Editorial Board. “I’m not going to need someone to teach me to be a judge.”
Ciavarella , 44, of Wilkes-Barre, is running against attorneys Joseph Giovannini, Joseph Yeager and Thomas Cometa for the seat now held by Luzerne County Judge Gifford Cappellini.
The job pays more than $93,000 a year, counting recent cost-of-living increases. The term is 10 years.
Cappellini will step down in December when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70. He can still serve as a senior judge.
A registered Democrat , Ciavarella has cross-filed on the Democratic and Republican tickets for the May 16 primary. His opponents cross-filed as well
In Pennsylvania elections, judicial candidates can cross-file under both parties, and at least Judge Ciavarella did, but both men are registered to vote as Democrats.
I wonder why the Inquirer didn’t tell us this?
Our friends on the left — Amanda Marcotte would be one — like to make the claim that political corruption is a Republican problem, citing the unfortunate cases of former Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK), Larry Craig (R-ID) and former Representatives Bob Ney (R-OH), Randy Cunningham (R-CA) and Mark Foley (R-FL). Being that they were all in Congress, their ethical problems made national news.
But when you get to state and local officials, the Democratic label seems more prominent: fFormer Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, former State Senator Vincent Fumo of Philadelphia, Portland, Oregon Mayor Sam Adams², Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Larry Langford, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Sharpe James, and more; the Grey Ghost is good at documenting this stuff.
Some of Patterico’s commenters on this thread seem to think that no, the professional media aren’t really biased, and that it’s just we wicked conservatives who think that. But can you imagine The Philadelphia Inquirer failing to mention that two convicted judges were Republicans if they had actually been Republicans?
¹ – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tuesday, 27 January 2009, p. A-1. The headline on the website is different from that in the print edition; I have used the print edition headline above.
² – Two separate stories in The New York Times, here and here, fail to disclose that Mr Adams is a Democrat, but this Associated Press article mentions it.