Ex-judge gets OK to challenge convictions

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella

A former northeastern Pennsylvania judge has gotten approval to challenge some of his convictions in connection with what prosecutors said were juveniles wrongly sent to detention center.

The ruling means the retrial of former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. on other counts will be delayed pending that appeal.

A federal judge in January threw out the 68-year-old defendant’s convictions on racketeering and two conspiracy counts, but upheld convictions on nine other charges.

The 68-year-old defendant was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for ordering kids to a for-profit detention center for a wide range of relatively minor infractions. He has denied wrongdoing.

The judge on Monday granted his request to appeal convictions to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will delay his retrial on other counts.

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