Saturday, February 28, 2009

Green Party Condemns Judicial Corruption

For Immediate Release

Hillary Kane, 267-971-3559
Tim Reim, 814-838-1193
Carl Romanelli 570-574-0829

Green leaders call into question the privatization of essential public services creating opportunities for corruption

Green Party urges local governments to ban private management of public responsibilities such as juvenile detention


White-hot outrage cannot adequately describe Green reaction to revelations of children unjustly sent to PA juvenile detention centers on the orders of corrupt local judges.

Two Pennsylvania judges have pleaded guilty to earning millions by wrongfully sending teenagers to privately-run youth detention centers.

Prosecutors say Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to place juvenile offenders in a situation in which personal greed fed by corporate excess turned people into profit.

"This calls to the very question of the value of the civil rights of the individual children wrongfully removed from their homes to appease the 'predatory capitalism' conducted by Pennsylvania Child Care, LLC" said Hillary Kane, Chair of the Green Party of Pennsylvania. "When I think of the long-term impact unwarranted juvenile detention will have on those children and their families, it really makes me angry."

"The concept of removing the responsibility and oversight of public governing to private corporations has been one of increasing belief that market forces, which worship profit over people, could deliver services more efficiently and at a lower cost to taxpayers," said Blyden Potts, Secretary of the Green Party of Pennsylvania. "What you wind up with is this type of abuse that would not occur under a properly-led public administration that respects its citizens."

The Green Party of Pennsylvania believes local municipal and township governments have the right and duty to refuse the contracting of some state activities. We call for local governments to enact ordinance prohibitions against the private management of public responsibilities, specifically, juvenile detention centers in their locale.

Social Justice remains a key pillar of Green political beliefs. This scandal has shaken Pennsylvanian parents and families to the core. We grieve for the suffering of the parents and young people wrongful abused. Greens call for not only full financial and judicial redress for the innocent people involved, but for a full investigation of the political environment that allowed for the many years of corruption and abuse by the two judges, and those private business interests complicit in this scandal.

Said Carl Romanelli of Luzerne County; "Sadly, Greens have been at odds with these judges here in Luzerne County for years. It makes one wonder where the peer review has been. Further, the appeals system in Pennsylvania simply rubber stamps the corrupt decisions of criminal judges. We must break the cycle of judges protecting themselves, and their exclusive club, rather than protecting the rights of Pennsylvanians. You need look no deeper than my case with the state court to see this ugly dynamic at play," said Romanelli referring to his ongoing ballot access court case.

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