125 Waller Street
Wilkes-Barre Pa 18702
April 18, 2014
The Honorable Edwin Kosik
United States District Court
William J Nealon Courthouse
235 N Washington Street
Scranton, PA 18501
The opinions here represent the Wilkes-Barre City Taxpayers Association. Based upon the past activities of Rob Mericle, logical inferences have been made. Many citizens who have no affiliation with Robert Mericle have become dismayed by the fawning letters sent to you by Mericle's family, employees, power brokers, and other sycophants who have or want to capitalize off of Mericle's largess.
We do not find Mericle’s hand-outs to be sincere because, as you may read below, it appears much of his money has been made in illegal and/or unsavory ways. At his worst, Mericle has profited off and failed to report the "Kids for Cash” scandal. We see no room nor reason for forgiveness in this area. If you want to know when the "peoples' support” is, one need look no further than the Citizens Voice and Times Loader comments regarding Mericle. There were over 100 posted comments. Not a single parson supported Mericle. When Mericle’s name was attached to the Wyoming Seminary, an "angry mob” couldn't take It down fast enough.
Earning "dirty" money and giving it away is not charity. Similarly, a bank robber who makes a killing and shares the dough would not be considered a philanthropist. Yet at the same time one can understand the extreme pressure people were under to write letters. After all, who wants to "p o” the billionaire? These letters were part of a broad campaign and we believe coerced. Plus, knowing Mericle and the way he does business, could you imagine the pay off if the letters spring him from Jail? These letters are more like "docent odds” lottery tickets.
We ask that you look at some different perspectives.
I) If Mericle hadn't dishonestly made money, then the void could have been filled by honest businessmen. Right? Have they even been considered?
2) Would not these “honest” business people be capable of giving to charity? Therefore it a canard to believe that Mericle being imprisoned would "hurt livelihoods or charities.” The money would simply be in different hands. We believe Mericle being sent to prison would be a net asset as honest business people could enter the game.
3) It is really hard to read about how he loves his kids and he gives to the YMCA when he was part of one of the most horrific scandals dealing with children
This area is at an inflection point. Corruption takes a toll on everyone. Once a critical mass of corruption develops… it becomes difficult to put the genie back in the bottle. The honest are sucked in even if they don't want to be. Recently Wikes-Barre was ranked dead last in a national poll on economic health. Economically, corruption creates gross a gross misappropriation of resources and scares businesses off from outside the area.
Your decision represents a seminal moment. Is Mericle going to get another pat on the head or will he finally receive prison time which is years overdue? I hope that you do what's just and send a message that will be a deterrent for others.
Wilkes-Barre City Taxpayer Association
According to the Times Leader and other sources, Rob Mericle has been a part of:
- Mericle pleaded guilty in September 2009 to felony misprision (failure to report a crime) of a felony for concealing his knowledge of the crimes committed by former county judges
- Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan in "KIDS FOR CASH."
- Mericle's money, more than $2 million, was characterized as a °finder's fee."
- Since he won the contract to build the juvenile centers, the Wilkes Barre City Taxpayers Association view this as a bribe.
- This places Mericle as a key player in the racketeering debacle known as "KIDS FOR CASH."
- Mericle helped the judges conceal the money (never declared) by wiring millions to various places. Later, he failed to disclose those payments to federal investigators and, separately, to a grand jury.
- Mericle provided $5,000 in cash to a former Jenkins Township supervisor as a "thank-you" for helping Mericle receive lower construction permit fees for the CenterPoint Commerce & Trade Park. The supervisor pleaded guilty to a public corruption-related charge. Mericle walked.
- Lawyers for ex-state Sen. Ray Musto, the Pittston-area political heavyweight, say Mericle gave their man $38,000 in cash, goods and services as a reward for exerting his influence in the Senate. Musto is in deep legal and health troubles. Mericle walked.
- Mericle had been giving trips and wads of cash to Civiarella since age 19. Mericle had civil suits with Chriarella presiding. Chriarella did not recuse himself. Are you kidding?