November 3, 2015 |
Howard Paul Kester, 85, of Newtown, a former Bucks County Court administrator and a longtime Quaker, died Saturday, Oct. 10, of congestive heart failure at Pennswood Village. Born in Abington, he lived his entire life in Newtown, where he was a respected member of Newtown Monthly Meeting, part of the Religious Society of Friends. He graduated from George School and in 1951 earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. Mr. Kester served three years in the Army before returning to school to earn a degree from Temple University School of Law in 1959.
September 24, 2015 |
After a two-year pilot program that segregated DUI cases into a separate court, Montgomery County is reverting to the previous system because of a heavy caseload, court administrator Michael Kehs said. DUI cases in Montgomery County "are between a quarter and a third of our inventory each year," Kehs said. "It simply became too much for one judge to handle. " The county's DUI court was not a treatment court, unlike its drug court and the treatment-based DUI courts in Philadelphia and 12 other Pennsylvania counties.
August 6, 2015 |
BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Every few years, a case shakes Centre County to its core and reverberates across the state: The still-unsolved disappearance of District Attorney Ray Gricar in 2005. The 2012 trial of Jerry Sandusky for child molestation at Pennsylvania State University. Now, it's a web of allegations including forgery by the current district attorney, improper relationships among judges and prosecutors, and conspiracy by the county's top elected officials. Battle lines have been drawn for nearly a year, and a grand jury report Friday clearing District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller of forgery has done little to ease tensions in the county seat of Bellefonte.
June 18, 2015 |
There's little doubt where Risa Vetri Ferman will be in January: The longtime Montgomery County district attorney is a strong candidate to win a seat on the County Court bench. But as the clock ticks down on her career as a local prosecutor, the larger question is if, or when, she will charge the state's top prosecutor with a crime. The same week that Ferman announced her run for the bench, she was handed a grand jury recommendation to charge Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane in the alleged leaking of secret information to a newspaper, then trying to cover it up. Kane, a Democrat, has denied any wrongdoing and called the investigation a partisan attack ordered by a Republican judge.
February 11, 2015 |
Montgomery County Republican leaders have narrowed a wide field of would-be candidates to challenge a growing Democratic majority in county government. The GOP's executive committee on Thursday endorsed Steve Tolbert and Scott Zelov to lead the ticket in running for county commissioner. Tolbert is a West Norriton commissioner, professor, and Iraq war veteran. Zelov is a Lower Merion commissioner. One of them is guaranteed a seat. As a duo they will face an uphill battle against incumbent Josh Shapiro and his recently appointed running mate, Val Arkoosh.
January 8, 2015 |
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced Tuesday that she will not seek a third term and instead will run for a seat on County Court. Ferman said her decision had been "an evolution over some time. " "After eight years constantly being in the eye of the storm, it wouldn't be such a terrible thing to slow down for a little bit," she said. "But I think it will present a different set of challenges. I'm looking forward to the intellectual aspects of the bench, analyzing and making decisions.
December 11, 2014 |
Michelle Kichline, a former Tredyffrin Township supervisor, will be Chester County's newest commissioner. Chester County judges selected Kichline on Tuesday to replace Ryan Costello, who is scheduled to be sworn in as Sixth District congressman on Jan. 6. Costello, the board chairman, will formally resign Monday. Kichline and the judges will determine when she will join the board. She will finish Costello's term, which expires in early 2016. Since the outgoing commissioner is a Republican, replacement candidates also had to be Republicans, according to Pennsylvania law. After Kichline joins the board, she and Commissioners Terence Farrell and Kathi Cozzone will vote to determine the chairman.
June 23, 2014 |
Gov. Corbett announced five nominations Friday to fill vacancies in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia and Delaware County. The governor also recommended two replacements for openings in Philadelphia Municipal Court and one nomination for district judge in Bucks County. The nominees will fill vacancies and must be approved by the Senate within 25 session days. They will serve until the next election cycle in 2015. In Philadelphia, Corbett nominated for Common Pleas Court Abbe F. Fletman, Kenneth J. Powell Jr., Michael Fanning, and Vincent N. Melchiorre.
March 1, 2014 |
Chester County Court Senior Judge Thomas G. Gavin will preside over the trial of former Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert J. Kerns. No trial date has been set. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille signed off last Friday on Gavin's assignment and gave him "the same power and authority as the judges of the requesting district," the order said. It came after Montgomery County Court President Judge William J. Furber Jr. advised the Supreme Court of a "full-bench recusal," according to a state document.
December 6, 2013 |
A former Delaware County public defender contends that he was fired for bringing too many cases to trial rather than accepting plea deals for clients. Joseph De Ritis of Broomall says in a lawsuit that his reluctance to accept plea deals led to his June 2012 demotion from a trial team in the county defender's office to Juvenile Court. He is seeking $2 million in damages and reinstatement to his old job. In his complaint, filed in federal court in Philadelphia in October, De Ritis says the demotion came after he had worked for more than six years as an attorney in the defender office, which represents criminal defendants who cannot afford lawyers.