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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Apples the Clown Running for Allentown Mini-Judge

I told you yesterday that double-parking junket lover Gail Hoover, who was tagged by the state ethics commission for ethical improprieties as a member of Allentown City Council, is considering a return appearance. I learned today that the office she's really considering is the downtown Allentown magisterial district (Allentown wards 3, 13, 17 & 18). That hot spot opened up when Michele Varricchio ascended to the stratosphere of Lehigh County Court, where she now floats in the clouds with all the other judges.

Hoover, clearly no relation to J. Edgar, must be gushing at the possibilities.

What is a mini-judge? I've talked about this before, but it's worth repeating. "District Justices have jurisdiction over minor criminal offenses, traffic offenses, landlord/tenant matters and other civil actions where the amount claimed does not exceed $8000.00. In misdemeanor and felony cases, District Justices have jurisdiction to issue arrest and search warrants, hold preliminary arraignments and preliminary hearings and set bail. They also have authority to perform marriages, handle protection from abuse matters and issue subpoenas. They also may impose summary punishments for criminal contempt." Although the annual salary for this position is $78,722, most magistrates consider themselves part-time workers.

Alas, Hoover has company. There are a few other contenders for this open seat.

One of them is Nancy Wilt, who happens to work for state Senator Lisa Boscola. Just a few months ago, she was trying to wrangle an appointment to a vacancy on Lehigh County's Board of Commissioners. "My three small children are my biggest inspiration and my reason for being here." I guess now they're telling her to run for magistrate.

Another person interested in donning a black robe is Cindy Mest. All I know about her is that she is active in the Jackson Park area of Allentown.

Assistant Police Chief Ron Manescu is also considering how things might look from the other side of the bench. Can a former cop be fair? I didn't think so, but after interviewing three cops who were running for mini-judge last year, I quickly changed my mind.

I've saved the best candidate for last. Apples the Clown would like to dispense Allentown justice, handing out balloons after every hearing. Apples is actually "Allentown community leader" Everett Bickford, who now and then refers to himself as "Erika" for some reason. Bickford already has experience as a non-denominational independent wedding minister. (His "Sapphire" package is just $100).
Update: In a kinder, gentler post, blogger Pam Varkony has written about this race, too. She's on to Apples the Clown.


Anonymous said...


Your posting is another example of the SOS for Allentown. Proven self servers and less than the best are lining up for this important position. DJ’s are where the rubber hits a neighborhood’s legal road. They can set the tone for compliance or non compliance to important ordinances that affect an areas quality of life.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about apples but he got the gangs out of Stevens Playground.

Anonymous said...

What did Gail Hoover do to you? Did you ask her for a date and she turn you down?!
It's east to lob grenades into Allentown when you live 30 miles away in Nazareth.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Apples the clown is paying me to trash her, and it's so easy! You see, I have this notion that judges should be ethical, even in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

This is funny. Sad, but funny, just like clowns.

Valima said...

"Assistant Police Chief Ron Manescu is also considering how things might look from the other side of the bench. Can a former cop be fair?"

Not this named officer of the LAW. Maybe he's focusing his energy on running for DJ which is why other investigative issues withing the APD have been dismissed. *cough*

michael molovinsky said...

unfortunately, i have appeared before many magistrates countless times. John Dungan, retired, although he may still fill in, was highly regarded and was a former allentown cop.

Anonymous said...

Cops are people too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes they are. Last year, when three cops were in the running for a DJ seat, I thought they would be too jaded or biased in favor of cops. Then I sat doiwn and talked to each one of them. I was completely wrong. In fact, I walked away very impressed by the integrity exhibited by all three. So I would not argue that being a cop should disqualify someone as DJ.

But I'm working for Apples the Clown.

Anonymous said...

You supported Stoffa the clown, why not Apples.

Anonymous said...

Many of us consider Ron Angle to be the Clown Prince of LV politics. There's a theme developing here.