SCRANTON -- State troopers and agents with the state attorney general's office descended on Downtown Scranton Thursday, spending 13 hours gathering documents and computer drives in a raid of three buildings.
A day later, questions remain. What exactly were they looking for? And why did they need so many cops to do it?
Police say most officers were needed at the Lackawanna County Prison on North Washington Avenue. Agents were sent inside a potentially dangerous prison environment to get paperwork and computer drives.
But why were so many cops needed at the county administration building, where police cruisers blocked a lane of traffic for six hours?
One local attorney tells Newswatch 16 it was to secure evidence.
Kingston attorney Vito DeLuca was Luzerne County solicitor during the FBI's raid on that county's court annex in Wilkes-Barre in 2008, which led to the indictments of "kids-for-cash" judges, Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella.
In yesterday's raid in Scranton, DeLuca says extra troopers were likely needed because of the number of offices searched and the building's many exits.
"The public has access in and out, I think for maintaining the evidence and preserving the evidence ... It's critical that there be sufficient manpower to handle that," DeLuca said.
It still remains unclear exactly who is targeted.
Newswatch 16 has learned the raid was triggered by a statewide grand jury that met outside of Philadelphia. That investigation was set up by a federal lawsuit filed in Scranton last year.
The suit by former female inmates accuses nine current or former corrections officers of rape. It also cites Lackawanna County Commissioner Pat O'Malley, claiming he "specifically leaked information that he learned from the prison board meetings to (a female corrections officer), warning her that she was going to be investigated. This was part of the cover-up..."
O'malley is not answering questions about the raid or the suit. His lawyer called claims raised in that lawsuit "scandalous and irrelevant."
Even if anyone is indicted as a result of the raid, it's likely to take time. Ciavarella and Conahan were charged 15 months after the 2008 raid.
DeLuca says people shouldn't expect a quick arrest as a result of yesterday's raid in Scranton.