HARRISBURG (Dec. 4, 2009) - The former federal attorney who headed the corruption probe resulting in the arrest of two Luzerne County judges earlier this year has received the 2009 Government Lawyer of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association Government Lawyers Committee.
Martin C. Carlson, currently a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, received the award during a recent ceremony in suburban Harrisburg. The award honors a government lawyer who has made a significant singular contribution or has dedicated his or her career to outstanding service to the profession for the benefit of the public or a government entity.
Carlson oversaw the Luzerne County corruption investigation, which was a cooperative effort involving the FBI and the IRS, while heading the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Prosecutors alleged that the Luzerne County judges accepted kickbacks in exchange for rulings that benefitted the owner and developer of two juvenile detention centers that the county utilized.
Carlson's work on the Luzerne County probe capped an impressive 20-year career as a federal prosecutor within Pennsylvania. From 1989 to 1994, he was the assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District. From 1994 to 2001, he served as chief of the Middle District's Criminal Division. After a one-year stint as U.S. Attorney during the end of the administration of President George H.W. Bush, Carlson served for five years as first assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District. He was named acting U.S. Attorney from 2007-2009.
Carlson holds degrees from Penn State University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association exists to promote justice, professional excellence and respect of the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.