JENKINS TOWNSHIP – Questions about pending real estate development projects and contracting jobs started swirling on Friday, after word spread that the region’s most successful developer was sentenced to federal prison time for his role in the Kids for Cash scandal.
Court records show that Robert Mericle has been ordered to report to federal officials on June 2, for a year behind bars in prison.
People who work in real estate in Luzerne County said there could be a big ripple effect.
"Is his company still going to keep running? Will people want to work for him? It`s just stuff that has a big impact on the area because he covers a lot of territory. Mericle is a big company,” said Danny Miele. “A lot of companies are moving out of Northeastern (Pennsylvania). This don`t help it. People see that and they`re not going to want to come into the area.”
Several people who have worked with Mericle in the past told Newswatch 16 off camera, that Mericle is a hands-on boss and integral part of the operation, but he won’t allow his empire to grind to halt because he is locked up.
Officials at Mericle’s business office near Wilkes-Barre would not release any information about the company’s plans or who will be in charge when Robert Mericle is locked up.