Federal prosecutors say two Luzerne County judges took $2.1 million in illegal payments from Robert Mericle, builder of a pair of for-profit youth detention centers. Former Judges Mark Ciavarella (shiv-uh-REL'-uh) Jr. and Michael Conahan are serving lengthy prison sentences for their roles in the so-called "kids for cash" scandal.
Mericle pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony. He faces eight to 14 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines but could receive less based on his testimony against Ciavarella. Mericle will be sentenced by a federal judge in Scranton.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out some 4,000 juvenile convictions issued by Ciavarella, saying he routinely trampled on juvenile offenders' civil rights.