Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sandy Fonzo Lets Loose on 'Cash-for-Kids' Judge Mark Ciavarella

I watched Megyn Kelly's panel discussion yesterday of the emotional story of Sandy Fonzo, the Pennsylvania mom whose son killed himself after being jailed by Judge Mark Ciavarella. The Wall Street Journal has the story, "Judge Found Guilty in Cash-for-Kids Case; Mother of Child Not Pleased":

Last Friday, a jury found a former Pennsylvania judge accused of sending large numbers of children to detention centers in exchange for kickbacks from the builder of the detention guilty on 12 counts of money laundering and conspiracy.

The jury also acquitted the defendant, Mark Ciavarella, on 27 counts, including extortion. Click here for the AP story; here for the story from the Scranton Times-Tribune; here for the story from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader.

But the jury verdict hardly ended the drama.

Ciavarella was allowed to remain free pending sentencing after the conviction Friday. And after the verdict, he made rather strident statements to the media outside the courthouse.

“Never took a dime to send a kid anywhere. … Never happened. Never, ever happened. This case was about extortions and kickbacks, not about ‘kids for cash,’” said Ciavarella, who plans to appeal.

In response to the judge’s being able to walk pending sentencing, Sandy Fonzo, whose son was jailed by Ciavarella — and committed suicide last year at age 23 — screamed obscenities at the judge and even poked him as he and his attorneys held a news conference on the courthouse steps. (Click here for the video, which contains obscenities).

“My kid’s not here anymore!” yelled Fonzo. “He’s dead! Because of him! He ruined my f——- life! I’d like him to go to hell and rot there forever!”

Ciavarella glanced at Fonzo, then turned his back ....

Also at Bloomberg, "Grieving Mom Screams at Pa. Judge, Becomes Symbol."