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Monongahela judge defends conduct, would accept ‘judicial diversion’

Herald - Standard - May 22, 2017

Cohen Seglias Partner Chris Carusone was interviewed by Pat Cloonan for the Herald-Standard article, "Monongahela judge defends conduct, would accept ‘judicial diversion’."

By: Pat Cloonan

Monongahela Magisterial District Judge Mark A. Wilson is defending his conduct in cases now being reviewed by the state’s Board of Judicial Discipline — but seeking to satisfy any objection that court has to his practices in recent years.

“Although Judge Wilson maintains his innocence,” his Harrisburg attorney Christopher D. Carusone conceded in an omnibus pretrial motion filed late last month, “he is willing to comply with a Judicial Diversion Program plan if he is afforded the privilege of admission.”

Carusone’s filing does  ot answer state charges that Wilson violated state “release criteria” standards with a habit of setting bonds and bail at $5,000 in various cases, regardless of how serious the charges might be, including those handed down in a series of welfare fraud cases beginning in 2013.

It instead focuses on and denies allegations of misconduct by Wilson in a case involving Monongahela Mayor Robert L. Kepics — and alleges that a Washington County prosecutor was demoted for taking on a private criminal complaint filed against Kepics in 2012.

It also complained that Kepics sought an investigation of Wilson four months after the Washington County Court of Common Pleas ordered destruction of all court records in the case. And it complained that Wilson was being forced to defend himself amid a re­election campaign, though unofficial returns from Tuesday’s vote seem to indicate it did not affect the veteran magistrate.

Carusone’s filing also prompted the Board of Judicial Discipline to delay its response from May 8 until June 9, to allow it at its next scheduled meeting on June 5 “to consider and fully answer all averments” made by Carusone. Continue Reading...