It appears that the "Kids For Cash" ordeal is far from over. Some of the masterminds behind this scheme have been locked up while others remain free to inflict more damage to Luzerne County and its citizens. This past week, local developer and Juvenile Center Operator Robert Mericle had his lawyer file a 47 page legal brief and court motion opposing the proposed $17.75 million settlement of the “kids for cash” lawsuits. In a legal brief filed late Wednesday, attorney Bernard Schneider cites numerous reasons why the settlement should be rejected, including claims that the agreement unfairly favors certain juvenile plaintiffs over others. Sounds like something that our man "Ciavy" did to these juveniles. Schneider also raises concerns that some attorneys have a conflict of interest that would allow them to unfairly seek a larger cut of the settlement for juveniles they personally represented. Now in case you didn't know, this settlement releases Mericle from a series of class-action lawsuits filed by juveniles who allege they were incarcerated as part of a scheme to enrich former Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan and others. In other words it allows Mericle to buy his way out of trouble for $17.75 million dollars. I guess it pays to be rich. Anyway, Mericle and his team of top notch lawyers are claiming that the enhancement fund is biased toward the “worst” juvenile offenders because they, by virtue of their crimes, served more time than juveniles convicted of lesser crimes. He cites the case of a juvenile who raped his 8-year-old sister and spent a substantial amount of time at PA Child Care in Pittston Township undergoing treatment. He will get substantially more money than two other juveniles he cites who served probation.
I think my brain may have just exploded here and is leaking out of my ears! First off, the juvenile who raped his 8-year-old sister deserved to go to the Juvie. This kid should get nothing, nadda, zip! No soup for you! Why would a convicted rapist not go to a lock up of some sort? This kid was not part of the "kids for cash" scheme. He was just convicted of a legitimate crime that went up before 'Ciavy" during the years he was putting kids away for petty stuff. It appears that either Mericle's lawyers are trying to delay Big Rob from bucking up or the judgement on the settlement is skewed. Either way, it does not surprise me that it is all screwed up! This money was to be set aside for the kids who actually were "wronged" by being sentenced to time in the juvie slammer and not the ones that actually committed crimes that warranted time to be served.
Oh, there is more. The novel like court brief also alleges the distribution of the money would favor juveniles who were represented by attorney Barry Dyller of Wilkes-Barre and the law firms of attorney Sol Weiss of Philadelphia (pictured at left) and William R. Caroselli of Pittsburgh. According to Schneider, attorneys from the Caroselli and Weiss firms are on the claims committee, which would give them inside knowledge of the number of claims made against the enhanced benefit fund. Dyller, who was co-counsel with Weiss, also would have an unfair advantage in arguing for his clients in the claims process, Schneider contends. WHAT! WHAT! ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME! There are lawyers on the claims committee who represent KFC (kids for cash, not Kentucky Fried Chicken)plaintiffs? Isn't this a total conflict of interest? It would appear so, but from their angle it makes total sense. These lawyers would want their clients to get more money so they can earn a higher legal fee. This is an outrage! Now mind you, the parents of the kids who went out to get lawyers would conceivably get more compensation simply because they have a lawyer fighting for them. But to have those lawyers on the claims committee is a crime in itself.
However you look at it, this thing is a mess. It's the only way it could be here in Luzerne County and I am not sure it will ever change. The money grubbing parasites are always looking for a way to haul in or spend less cash any way that they can. In the long run, us poor slobs keep getting the "shafter in the after" because our hard earned tax dollars are going into the bogged down court system. It appears that Rob "It's a" Mericle is down to his final play of the game and is throwing up the Hail Mericle play to try to squeeze out of bucking up. We shall see what happens.
On a quick note, does anyone know if our good buddy Thom "The Tick" Greco has actually spent time at the soup kitchen slopping out hash for the needy? I made some inquiries on this subject and no one could give me an answer. My guess would be no. If you know anything, let the R2G know.
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