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Marraccini sentenced to 16 months in prisonEdit

Ernest Marraccini, a former Elizabeth Twp. magisterial district judge, has been sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for obstructing justice.

Marraccini, 62, of Elizabeth, also was ordered Thursday to pay a $15,000 fine by Senior U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch.

Marraccini pleaded guilty on March 21, 2007.

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan said the former judge was accused of soliciting and receiving an expense-paid trip to Nassau, Bahamas, from Gary McDermott of Stowe Twp., who was working to establish a privately run, for-profit facility to house prisoners as an alternative to Allegheny County Jail.

The facility would have been located in Swiss Alpine Village, near Marraccini's former office, where Elizabeth Twp. Area EMS currently is situated. The township's zoning hearing board rejected the idea in March 2002.

In exchange for the trip, Marraccini spoke in favor of the facility, federal prosecutors noted.

When McDermott, an FBI informant, was subpoenaed in July 2005, the former judge reportedly told him to lie and say that Marraccini had paid him for the trip.

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