A federal judge has ruled that Luzerne County, Pa., cannot be held liable in the kids-for-cash corruption scandal that has led to criminal charges against two of the county’s ex-judges because no county officials with policymaking authority played any role in the alleged scheme.

In an opinion handed down on Friday, U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo concluded that Luzerne County must be dismissed from a spate of civil rights suits filed by juveniles who claim their custodial terms were tied to a bribery scheme in which former Judges Michael T. Conahan and Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. allegedly took payments in excess of $2.8 million in return for promising to sentence juvenile offenders to for-profit detention centers.

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