Pa. 'kids for cash' judge appeals conviction

A northeastern Pennsylvania judge has appealed his conviction in the juvenile justice scandal known as "kids for cash."

Lawyers for former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. asked the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn his racketeering conviction.

The defense says trial judge Edwin Kosik should have disqualified himself because of statements he made to the media and public. Ciavarella also says Kosik prevented him from mounting an effective defense, and that the evidence failed to support a conviction.

Kosik was out of the office Wednesday afternoon and unavailable for comment. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment.

Ciavarella was sentenced last year to 28 years in prison. He was accused of taking $2.8 million from two businesses connected to for-profit juvenile detention centers.