Greg Skrepenak was warmly greeted when he appeared Sunday, two days after his sentencing, at the Festival and Flea Market at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Wilkes Barre. Parishioners offered him sympathy and support, and many expressed disgust at some of the things being said about him. With him is parish priest Father James Hayer.
The holy and sainted Democrats who run Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County drafted local sports legend and political neophyte Greg Skrepenak to run for county commissioner in 2003. He easily won as expected and was promptly named chairman of the board.
Skrepenak, known in the area as Skrep, won All-American honors in football and basketball at Wilkes Barre’s G.A.R. Memorial Junior Senior High School in the 1980s and was an MVP in baseball. Skrep went on to the University of Michigan were he became an All-American offensive lineman and was the Gator Bowl MVP in 1991. He went on to a respectable pro career with the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders and the Carolina Panthers.
Skrep’s life was not a bed of roses, however. Personal issues led to his retirement from football. His wife had become addicted to drugs and he was raising by himself his daughter and two sons.
Skrep as commissioner did as he was told and in return was given rein to indulge his dreams of expanding services to those with drug problems and youth at risk. He ran for re-election in 2007 and again easily won.
Maybe the most damning thing Skrep did in his tenure as Democrat Party puppet was vote to use private detention centers for juveniles. These centers were paid on a per prisoner basis. This resulted in horrifying abuse. Kids who committed rather minor offenses were ordered incarcerated by judges who received kickbacks. Anyway, the sin was not the vote, as dumb as it may have been in hindsight, but the kickbacks and Skrep has not been connected to them in the slightest.
What Skrep was connected to was taking a $5,000 discount from the fellow who was building his condo, a fellow who then at Skrep’s behest received some sweet tax breaks from the county. Skrep initially denied seeing anything wrong in this. He thought the discount was due to friendship and said he would have pushed for a tax break for the fellow anyway because, well, he was his friend. Those who know him believe him. Skrep could safely be described as the dream commissioner for a Luzerne County party boss.
Anyway, a hungry federal prosecutor couldn’t resist such an easy chance to put a new head on the wall and Skrep was charged with bribery, a charge to which he would eventually plead guilty.
With the big man safely down, the local media jumped on him with both feet. Every word he uttered in his defense was questioned. His children were ridiculed. The references to his religion he made during his apology at his sentencing were mercilessly mocked.
U.S. District Judge Richard P. Conaboy gave him 24 months and those who leech pleasure from others’ pain gave themselves pats on the back.
Oh, if only Skrep had been a billionaire pedophile like Jeff Epstein for whom our courageous men and women in federal law enforcement managed to also get a two-year sentence. Then Skrep could have daily furloughs to his office for his first year and serve his second year under house arrest.
But the feds have their priorities, one guesses.
The Crucifixion Of Greg Skrepenak
Greg Skrepenak and His Luzerne County Crucifixion
The Crucifixion Of Greg Skrepenak