The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved the nomination of Joseph M. Cosgrove to fill a pivotal judicial vacancy on the Luzerne County bench, according to Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne). Baker introduced Cosgrove to the committee members and lauded his experience and qualifications prior to the vote.
“Incoming judges must see to the fair and impartial administration of justice. We also expect that they will change the culture of a justice system now widely recognized as corrupt and unjust and rife with nepotism,” Baker said. “Our county needs individuals of the stature of Joe Cosgrove, with demonstrated leadership qualities who will begin to restore the reputation of the court and win back public confidence and respect.”
She added that if Cosgrove’s nomination is approved by the full Senate, he will replace the chief figure in the appalling corruption scandal that victimized thousands of children and sullied justice in Luzerne County.
“The court system is suffering the stresses and strains that come from being shorthanded, while laboring under widespread public suspicion and scorn,” Baker said. “In the judgment of Governor Rendell, in my judgment, and in the judgment of many in our community, Joseph Cosgrove is the right person at the right time for this extremely crucial and immensely challenging assignment.”
Cosgrove’s nomination now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
Baker is sponsor of a law that established an 11-member Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, appointed by the Chief Justice, the General Assembly and the Governor, to conduct a thorough review of juvenile justice procedures, practices, rules and regulations, and pursue remedies and reforms.
The goal, she said, is to ensure that children and families who enter the juvenile justice system are granted fundamental constitutional protections and that judges are monitored to make sure their decisions are ethical and correct.
Contact: Jennifer Wilson