COALDALE — One day after a former mayor in Schuylkill County was convicted of downloading child porn at work, some of his relatives are speaking out and they have some harsh words about the justice system.
The former mayor of Coaldale was convicted Thursday of 27 counts of child pornography, something Richard Corkery’s family members say is a terrible injustice. Many in this Schuylkill County community think otherwise.
Richard Corkery is now convicted of child porn charges. A jury in Carbon County ruled guilty on all 27 counts against Richard Corkery.
The news spread quickly through Corkery’s hometown nearby in Schuylkill County.
“I was really upset because I voted for the man, I voted for him,” said Tommy’s Diner owner and Coaldale resident Ruth Weiss.
Weiss and her husband Tom and say Corkery used to visit often as mayor.
Now patrons here in Coaldale say their former leader deserves to spend time locked up.
“That’s really bad. We just can’t have anybody in this town like that. I don’t feel sorry for him. I really don’t,” said Skip Miller of Coaldale.
Prosecutors say Corkery downloaded child porn at WLSH radio station in Nesquehoning where he was host of the radio program The Dutch Trader.
Corkery would never admit his guilt at the diner.
“He really did it on the sly. He denied it and everything, but the evidence was overwhelming,” said Tom Weiss.
Although many in Coaldale now no longer support their former mayor, Corkery’s family says they still stand behind him 100 percent.
“My cousin is a man of exceptional character. He’s done so much good in his life. It really makes me sad to think of this happening to him,” said Corkery’s cousin Ceil Knies.
Knies answered the door at Corkery’s home in Coaldale. She says the justice system has failed her family and that Corkery is planning to appeal his conviction.
“Terrible, terrible miscarriage of justice. Everything about it was wrong. Very wrong,” said Knies.
For now Corkery is free on $50,000 bail awaiting sentencing in Carbon County. Corkery’s 27-count child porn conviction could earn him anywhere from probation to a maximum of more than 20 years behind bars.
A sentencing date has yet to be set.