(CN) – Two Pennsylvania judges pleaded guilty on Thursday to taking more than $2.6 million in kickbacks for sending youth offenders to privately run detention centers.
Prosecutors said Luzerne County Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan took the payoffs to put juvenile offenders in detention centers run by PA Child Care and affiliate Western PA Child Care.
Ciavarella and Conahan were charged on Jan. 26. The state Supreme Court removed them from the bench two days later.
The judges pleaded guilty in federal court in Scranton, Pa.