SCRANTON – A former Luzerne County Juvenile Probation Department official who pleaded guilty to illegally altering a juvenile’s record has been dropped from the civil lawsuit that reportedly led her to take the action that resulted in charges against her.
Attorneys on Tuesday dismissed Sandra Brulo from a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of hundreds of juveniles who allege they were wrongly incarcerated as part of a scheme to enrich persons connected to the Luzerne County juvenile justice corruption scandal.
The decision bears a sense of irony for Brulo, who admitted she altered the record of one of the juveniles named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit in order to insulate herself from liability.
Brulo was charged criminally because the record in question was included in documents federal authorities had reviewed as part of the corruption probe into former judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan. She pleaded guilty to the charge in March and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 5.
In the civil matter, Brulo was among more than a dozen defendants who were named in a suit initially filed by attorney Barry Dyller of Wilkes-Barre. That suit has since been consolidated with several others into a single class action complaint.
The suit alleges Ciavarella and Conahan conspired to increase incarceration rates of juveniles at the PA Child Care and Western PA Child Care juvenile detention centers in order benefit themselves and others financially.
David Senoff, one of the lead attorneys in the class-action suit, said Brulo was dismissed based on information attorneys had obtained during pre-trial evidence gathering. He said she could be reinstated as a defendant at a later date should other evidence surface that further implicates her.
The attorneys also opted to drop Robert Matta, a Schulykill County attorney, from the suit.
Matta’s involvement was limited to a bank transaction he handled for the Conahan and Ciavarella that involved some of the money they received for their alleged role in the scheme.