New Judge Coming To Luzerne County Courthouse

The corruption scandal in Luzerne County has landed a few judges in hot water. Now the courthouse in Wilkes-Barre is scrambling to find enough judges to handle all the cases, but help is on the way.


 Luzerne County’s president judge said he got the news Thursday afternoon that the state appointed a retired judge from Lycoming County to help with the caseload in Luzerne County.


 Senior Judge Kenneth Brown starts next week. The retired president judge from Lycoming County replaces Senior Judge Joseph Rehkamp. He was suspended following charges that he assaulted his wife last weekend.


 Luzerne County President Judge Thomas Burke said Judge Brown will help with the case load. “He’s very enthusiastic of taking on assignment and very interested in helping our challenge in maintaining our court docket due to the understaffing of our court,” said Burke.


 He added newly-elected judge William Amesbury will oversee the next trial for Hugo Selenski. He is accused of killing two people and disposing of their remains at the house where he lived in the Back Mountain.


Judge Tina Gartley will preside over the murder trial for Donnell Buckner. He’s accused of killing his wife in Wilkes-Barre last spring in front of her two young children. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in that case.


 “Together with the help from many capable senior judges, I’m optimistic we can move things back to the right direction,” said Judge Burke.


 Burke said Judge Brown could start hearing cases as early as Tuesday.