Report: #1504423

Complaint Review: Tarah Toohil - Hazleton PA

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  • Reported By: Debra — Wilkes-Barre PA United States
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  • Tarah Toohil 1 West Broad Street, Suite 100 Hazleton, PA United States

Tarah Toohil Pennsylvania State Representative Tarah Toohil PA Rep Tarah Toohil improperly intervened in a Luzerne County Children and Youth case so her close friend could improperly adopt young children from a poor family with the help of Luzerne County Judge Jennifer Rogers. Hazleton PA

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For years, families have been complaining about misconduct and corruption within Luzerne County Children & Youth, but nothing ever seems to happen. Well if this story doesn't cause uproar and change, nothing will. Imagine you are a grandmother going through the awful experience of fighting for your grandchildren in Children and Youth proceedings, when you find out that the woman appointed to temporarily care for your grandchildren, now wants them, permanently.  Imagine finding out that this woman has a powerful friend, PA State Rep. Tarah Toohil, the vice-chair of the House Children & Youth Committee in Harrisburg. And then you discover that Rep. Toohil is personally getting involved to make sure your family's rights to your grandchildren are terminated and her friend can keep your children forever. 

Joanne Yarbrough, and her daughter Kelly don't have to imagine this nightmare scenario because they have been living it for over a year. The woman appointed by Children and Youth as a temporary foster mother to Ms. Yarbrough's grandchildren is Ms. Sarah Eckert, a close friend of Tarah Toohil. 

Below is an image of Ms. Eckert taken from her Facebook profile.

On July 25, 2019, PA State Rep. Tarah Toohil sent an email from her personal email account to Attorney Paul Galante, a lawyer for Luzerne County Children and Youth regarding events occurring in the proceedings.  FYI, no one, outside of the recipients, was ever meant to see this email.

  The only reason you are reading this is because of a very brave grandmother and mother  who refuse to quit fighting for their children.

To be clear, it is completely illegal and improper for Rep. Toohil to send this email.  She is using her public position to influence a government proceeding in order to gain a favorable decision for her friend, Sarah Eckert. This is called obstruction of justice and it's a state and federal crime. According to our sources, there are many more Luzerne County Children & Youth cases that Rep. Toohil has illegally influenced with Luzerne County Judge Jennifer Rogers. Note the passive aggressive tone of the email.  Rep. Toohil sounds more like an immature teenager than a mature, respected state representative.  And who is the judge in these proceedings?  Of course it's Luzerne County Judge Jennifer Rogers, who after the arrival of Rep. Tarah Toohil in the case, moved these proceedings along very quickly and ultimately found in Sarah Eckert's favor.  In fact, one of Ms. Yarbrough's lawyers told her that she never saw a Children and Youth case move as fast as hers moved through the system.  

Ultimately, Ms. Yarbrough's daughter's parental rights were improperly terminated by Judge Jennifer Rogers, and it's been over a year since they last saw the children.  Ms. Sarah Eckert is now their mother.  Illegally, their mother. According to Ms. Yarbrough, one of the attorneys associated with her case was fired for speaking up about what happened.

Ms. Yarbrough filed a complaint against Rep. Toohil with the Attorney Disciplinary Board of Pennsylvania that included a copy of Rep. Toohil's email.  Rep. Toohil, must have friends in high places, because shockingly the board responded by declining to move forward with an investigation citing that the email did not meet the high burden of proof required to prove misconduct. Of course this response is complete nonsense.

According to the PA Rules of Professional Misconduct 8.4

  • It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:

  • violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;

  • commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;

  • engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;

  • engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;

  • state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or,

  • knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law.

The comments section of Rule 8.4 provide the following:

Many kinds of illegal conduct reflect adversely on fitness to practice law, such as offenses involving fraud and the offense of willful failure to file an income tax return. However, some kinds of offenses carry no such implication. Traditionally, the distinction was drawn in terms of offenses involving "moral turpitude." That concept can be construed to include offenses concerning some matters of personal morality, such as adultery and comparable offenses, that have no specific connection to fitness for the practice of law. Although a lawyer is personally answerable to the entire criminal law, a lawyer should be professionally answerable only for offenses that indicate lack of those characteristics relevant to law practice. Offenses involving violence, dishonesty, breach of trust, or serious interference with the administration of justice are in that category. A pattern of repeated offenses, even ones of minor significance when considered separately, can indicate indifference to legal obligation.

Rule 8.4 Comments regarding public officials:

Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer's abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of lawyers.

Why would Disciplinary Counsel, Suzy Moore, mislead and misinform Ms. Yarbrough?  

The email, alone, is evidence of obstruction of justice and requires an investigation.  And there are more emails.

Why is Suzy Moore protecting Rep. Toohil?  

Recently, Ms. Yarbrough requested copies of transcripts from the proceedings by emailing Luzerne County Court Reporter, Angela Sallemi, but Ms. Sallemi declined the request because she said that all family court and children and youth transcript requests require a court order approving the request by Judge Jennifer Rogers.

But what's interesting about this is that we have transcripts obtained from parents and lawyers who never had to file such motions before obtaining these transcripts. So our question for Angela Sallemi is how do you pick and choose what requests have to file a motion before Judge Rogers in order to get copies of family court hearings? Does Judge Rogers send you a list of people who she doesn't want obtaining transcripts or do you forward each request to Judge Rogers when you receive them? Either way, what you're doing is completely illegal, but you know that already.

Tarah Toohil Must Resign

PA State Rep Tarah Toohil's predatory actions here are disgusting.  She helped steal children.  She needs to resign now. If you are an investigative reporter, please write about this case to help Ms. Yarbrough and her daughter Kelly get back their children. If you are an investigative agency, please open an investigation into this matter.  Please don't let them get away with this.  We need your help.  Our children need your help.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/28/2021 11:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/tarah-toohil/hazleton-pa-pennsylvania-rep-1504423. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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