A federal judge sentenced former Luzerne County, Pa., Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr.–accused in a “kids for cash” corruption scandal–to 28 years in prison yesterday. It appeared to be the longest federal prison sentence ever given in a U.S. political corruption case, said he Philadelphia Inquirer. He had been a key target in an ongoing federal corruption probe which so far has led to charges against nearly 30 officials.
Ciavarella, 61, was accused of conspiring with another judge in the Scranton area to engineer what experts have called the worst juvenile-justice scandal in the nation’s history. Two years ago, the federal sentencing judge rejected a plea deal for a seven-year sentence because he felt Ciavarella was not as not remorseful enough. Even after agreeing to plead guilty, Ciavarella continued to insist that there had been no quid pro for the money he received. He repeated that theme Thursday at his sentencing.