Retired Pa. judges earn millions on bench

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Eighty-six retired Pennsylvania judges earned millions of extra dollars last year for part-time duty as “senior judges.”


The Citizens’ Voice in Wilkes-Barre reported Sunday that the “double-dip” arrangement resulted in the judges receiving nearly $11 million, including nearly $4 million in per-diem payments for courtroom work plus pension and health benefits.


The report, based on information the newspaper obtained through Right-to-Know request, showed Philadelphia Judge Ricardo Jackson received the most combined compensation as a senior judge — more than $176,000.


Court officials say using senior judges is more cost-effective than hiring additional full-time judges as the court system handles about 3.4 million cases a year.


Pennsylvania judges are required to retire at age 70. Senior judges typically are assigned to cases in their home counties or adjoining counties.


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