HARRISBURG, PA (WPMT) The State Supreme Court on the recommendation of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel has accepted the resignation of Robert Powell, of Luzerne County, from the Pennsylvania Bar. The high court also ordered Powell disbarred retroactive to August 31, 2009 the date of his temporary suspension.
Powell was a key figure in the “kids for cash” scandal that unfolded in 2008 over judicial kickbacks at the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas in Wilkes-Barre. Two judges, President Judge Mark Ciavarella and Senior Judge Michael Conahan, were accused of accepting money from Robert Mericle, builder of two private, for-profit youth centers for the detention of juveniles, in return for contracting with the facilities and imposing harsh adjudications on juveniles brought before their courts to increase the number of residents in the centers. Both former judges are serving lengthy prison sentences.
Powell pleaded guilty in July 2009 to failing to report a crime related to payments made to the judges. He cooperated with federal authorities and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, completing his sentence last April.
To read the entire Court Order click here.