Law firm seeks to incorporate Powell plea in campaign to overturn verdict

A Hazleton law firm moved Tuesday to incorporate evidence of attorney Robert J. Powell's plea agreement in the ongoing Luzerne County corruption probe into their campaign to have a $3.4 million legal malpractice verdict overturned.

Attorneys from Laputka, Bayless, Ecker & Cohn filed a motion Tuesday asking a judge to allow them to supplement the case record with the plea agreement and the criminal charges filed against Powell in U.S. District Court - failing to report a felony and being an accessory to tax conspiracy. Details of the charges and agreement were released last week.

The firm is seeking to have the jury verdict overturned, arguing disgraced former Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. should have recused himself from the case because of his relationship with opposing attorney Robert J. Powell.

Powell is accused of paying $772,500 in kickbacks to Ciavarella and former Judge Michael T. Conahan to facilitate the development and operation of a juvenile detention center he co-owned. Powell claimed in February he was a "victim" who gave in to the judges' "demands for payment." Ciavarella and Conahan pleaded guilty in February to corruption charges. They face 87 months in prison under their plea agreements.

8 posted comments

How come none of the judges, schoolboard members, slimy lawyers, or contractors are not behind bars yet? If this was the average lunchbox Charlie that got caught ripping off the public, he'd be in jail a long time ago
lonegunmen 06/17/09 - 11:04PM
why don't they slap powell's other wrist for fixing the insurane cases? How many million dollar cases did Bobby win before the two disgraced judges?

Also, I remmeber a while back when a certain state rep put 500 million into the state budget for mr. powell. Does that mean PA
would be 500 million more in the hole?

What a joke, the politicians keep getting richer, keep getting off when they committ a crime,and keep reminding us what idiots we are to keep letting it happen!

Michael 06/17/09 - 10:06PM
I have all the faith in the IRS.FBI. and all others involved many more to come down
ed 06/17/09 - 6:48PM
You people did the same thing
ed 06/17/09 - 6:05PM
Wait until I show you how dirty this law firm is
ed hartman 06/17/09 - 4:39PM
JoeBannion 06/17/09 - 10:29AM
I am sick of the crying, "they made me do it". Put this guy away and hit him with as many fines as you can. Then get Mericle and do the same, but don't stop, I am sure there is many more attached to this mess. Keep going FBI.
Tml 06/17/09 - 9:03AM
one can just imagine how many other attorney's might have been involved in cases just like this one and how much money reward was good OL' MARK to make on this verdict,there has to be so much more out there that we'll probally never know,the only thing comforting is that there a whole lot of bums out there not sleeping well,school members,attorney's,you name it,fed's need to stay here for a long,long time,now they need to go after the ones involved in the prison food contracts,a whole bunch of friends that came up with a way to make money,from SKREP and his buddies all the way down,no more VEGAS boy's,those conventions should be held here and put the money in this county,never happen though because that would elimate there taxpayer vacation.
walter 06/17/09 - 5:41AM
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