For the last 22 years I have been basically screaming from the rooftops that Judicial Corruption is not only real but also prevalent in the Pennsylvania’s Courts. Until a person is thrust into the Court System, one has no basis to conclude the courts are anything but fair and honest. That is exactly how I felt until I experienced my own rude awakening back in the 1990’s.
I was chastised by the then “President Judge of Luzerne County” for even hinting there may be a problem in the courts. The exact quote by the President Judge was, “How dare you question the integrity of this court?” Three Luzerne County Judges are now in Federal Prison on corruption and bribery charges which includes the son of the President Judge who admonished me.
The question is no longer, is there corruption in the Pennsylvania Judicial System but rather, how extensive is this corruption?
In the case of Luzerne County, the Judicial Corruption addressed by the Federal Indictments of these three Judges halted their corruption that flourished in the open for years unabated. For the most part, the Judges’ illegal activity was properly reported to the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Neither oversight organization fulfilled their requirements to intervene. Rather both organizations totally rejected legitimate, provable information of misconduct that was clearly provided to them. Was this incompetence or culpability? Apparently, we will never know the answer to this question as neither organization is talking and no one is demanding that they do so. It also appears that the JCB went so far as to successfully attack a “whistleblower” in violation of its own rules and procedures.
Window dressing legislation has become the order of the day instead of hard core reform and accountability. It appears that not a single Pennsylvania Legislator has the spine or fortitude to take on the toughest issues concerning fairness under the law. It also appears many of these very same Legislators have their own “judicial matters” that need to be addressed, if you know what I mean.
Let there be no doubt in anyone’s mind. Judicial Corruption is alive and well in courtrooms throughout the Commonwealth. But for the FBI investigating corruption in the Luzerne County Judiciary the three Judges presently incarcerated in Federal Penitentiaries would still be committing crimes from the bench with no one in Harrisburg doing anything about it. My proof of this is simply Harrisburg’s long term track record.
Corruption in the Judiciary affects everyone whether or not you are ever involved in litigation. Our entire society is based on fairness and unbiased adjudication under the law. Thousands of provable examples of judicial corruption go unchallenged every year. Our court’s moral compass is askew and our leaders are intoxicated on power and money while steering us onto the rocks all the while telling us, “All is well.”
All is not well. The very private club informally known as the “Black Robe Society” must be held accountable by the citizens who pay the bills and not by the aspiring individuals who someday hope to become members. Judges being held totally unaccountable for their actions and immune from civil liability even if they commit crimes from the bench is a concept refined in countries we have fought wars with.
EDITOR: The above was written by a native of Luzerne County but is relevant state wide.