Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Luzerne County Judge Michael Toole to Plead Guilty and Resign from Bench

Toole will plead guilty to fraud, resign from bench

BY DAVE JANOSKI, PROJECTS EDITOR Published: December 2, 2009 Font size: [A] [A] [A]

Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Toole has agreed to plead guilty to fraud and resign from the bench for concealing a financial relationship with an attorney who appeared before him and ruling in that attorney's favor, federal officials announced today. Toole will also plead guilty to failing to report more than $30,000 in income, they said.
Toole, 49, faces up to 23 years in prison on the charges.
Read the charges
Read the plea agreement
The U.S. Attorney's Office alleged Toole ruled in the unnamed attorney's favor in a case involving a vehicle insurance arbitration. Toole is also accused of concealing a $30,000 cash referral fee in 2006 and failing to report it on his tax return.
Toole, who announced last month that he would take vacation for the first half of December, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Toole is the third county judge and 20th person charged in an ongoing federal corruption probe.

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