Retired Judge to Hear Luzerne County Cases

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There is new information about how Luzerne County will handle cases at the courthouse after a fifth judge was removed from the bench.

 Judge Kenneth Brown, who just retired from Lycoming County, will sit on the Luzerne County bench beginning Tuesday.

 He will handle a number of the cases suspended Judge Joseph Rehkamp was supposed to hear. Luzerne County President Judge Thomas Burke said Brown could start hearing cases as early as Tuesday.

 “I spoke to him today. He’s very enthusiastic of taking on assignment and very interested in helping our challenge in maintaining our court docket due to the under staffing of our court,” Judge Burke said.

 Senior Judge Joseph Rehkamp was scheduled to hear some of the highest profile criminal cases in Luzerne County. Now he’s facing criminal charges himself.

 He turned himself in after police said he pushed, choked and assaulted his wife over the weekend near Plymouth.

 President Judge Burke said he is confident and hopeful Judge Brown will do an effective job.

 “Brown served very capably for over 20 years in Lycoming County he has an extensive background in criminal law both as a former assistant public defender as well as having been district attorney in Lycoming County,” Judge Burke added.

 He said two newly elected judge will handle some upcoming high-profile cases.

 Judge William Amesbury will preside over the Hugo Selenski homicide trial and Judge Tina Gartley will hear the homicide case against Donnell Buckner.

 Assignments for 22 other homicide cases will be made soon.