Thursday, September 29, 2011
(Former) Pennsylvania Judge Michael Conahan is going to prison for 17.5 years. He also must pay $874,000 in restitution. Conahan was convicted of money laundering and related crimes concerning a scheme in which he sent many teens to a privately run detention center in exchange for kick backs from the operation. Often the teens were guilty of very minor offenses, at best. A fellow judge pled guilty to his participation in the scheme and received a prison sentence of 210 months. Here is a report from the Wall Street Journal blog.
Questions remain. Why did none of the lawyers in the community ever report these obviously aberrant sentences to the state’s Judicial Conduct Board. Why did that Board drag its feet (to put it mildly) until the U.S. attorney took action? Good questions for a Professional Responsibility class to consider.