Former Luzerne County Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. revealed in a court hearing July 2 how he had come to take what the report calls a "payoff" for ensuring contracts to build two juvenile centers by contractor Robert Mericle.
Ciavarella: "Sometime after the contract was set, Rob Mericle came into my chambers and indicated that he was going to pay me a finder's fee."
Question: "When was that?"
Ciavarella: "My recollection was sometime, I believe, in April of 2002."
Question: "How much?"
Ciavarella: "He told me he would pay me 10 percent of whatever the contract price was."
Question: "When did you decide to cut Michael Conahan in on that?"
Ciavarella: "That day."
Question: "How did you go about doing that?'
Ciavarella: "Walked over to his chambers and told him what had transpired in my chambers. He said to me that that is one hell of a friend you have. That was the end of it. . . .
"I did not consider what I did to be illegal. . . . I did not consider the money that I was receiving to be illegal mob money. I was told it was legal money. I was told it was something that I was entitled to. And for that reason, I did not have a problem with where that money went or how it came to me."