Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ex-judge is in halfway house here

February 19. 2013 9:06PM
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SCRANTON – Former Luzerne County Judge Michael Toole has been released to a halfway house to finish out the remainder of his two-and-a-half-year prison sentence on corruption charges.

Toole, who had been housed at a federal prison in Duluth, Minn., was transferred Tuesday to a halfway house within the northeast region of the state, said Chris Burke, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

He was sentenced in April 2011 to two and a half years for his guilty plea to one count of corrupt receipt of a reward for official action and to tax-evasion charges.

Toole admitted he accepted free use of a beach house from attorney Harry Cardoni as a reward for appointing a Cardoni-favored arbitrator to hear an uninsured-motorist case. Toole also admitted to underreporting his income by $30,000 in 2006.

Toole served as a judge for six years before he resigned shortly before charges were filed. At his sentencing, his attorneys attributed his actions partly to gambling and alcohol addictions.

Federal regulations allow inmates to be released to a halfway house once they have a year or less to serve on their sentence, Burke said. Toole is scheduled to complete his sentence on April 2, 2013.

Burke said he could not release information on which halfway house Toole is residing in except to say it's within the northeast sector of the state that is overseen by the Community Corrections Center in Philadelphia.

Toole was among more than 30, including two other county judges and a county commissioner, charged as part of a corruption probe that began in 2009.

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