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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, January 14, 2011

Former Wilson Homecoming Queen Wants to Be a Mini-Judge

What the hell is a magistrate anyway? A few year ago, I called them mini-judges. Sure, they get to wear those black dresses, but can't even sentence you to death. What fun is that? Worse, they must face the voters every six years. No ten year retentions for them! And on a rotating basis, they must be available 24/7.

I know them all. Over the years, I've accumulated so many parking tickets that they all get to meet me sooner or later. The big judges' website includes a detailed description of a mini-judge's daily duties: "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." Annual salary? $80,927. No overhead. Full benefits.

Shana Restucci, a former Wilson High School Homecoming Queen, yesterday announced her candidacy for mini-judge in Judge Koury's old magisterial district, which includes Wilson, West Easton and a slice of Easton.

After graduating from Wilson in 1990, Shana earn her associate's degree in legal administration two years later, and began working for a soft-spoken and brilliant young lawyer who had a tendency to disappear all the time for stints in the Navy. That lawyer is now Judge (smile when you say that) Edward Smith, who is also a Field Marshall or something in the Navy Reserve. He still disappears to places like Iraq. Shana still works for him. She's had a good mentor.

The one thing that has always set Northampton County judges apart is their tradition of treating everyone with courtesy and respect. They may sometimes fail, but that's the goal. Not every bench is like that. It appears that Restucci will try her best to follow that example. In her campaign announcement, she pledges to treat all with courtesy, patience and dignity. "Above all, I will ensure that all who come before me are treated with dignity and respect."

Restucci resides in West Easton and her two children attend Avona Elementary School. She volunteers at the school and for little league.

Because she is a judicial employee, she will have to resign her position with Judge Smith once she starts circulating her nomination petitions on February 15. "Judge Smith has been my boss, mentor and friend for the last 19 years and my one regret is that I must resign as his judicial secretary to run for this position."

Restucci will cross-file. Her web page will go up soon, and when it does, I'll link to it. Her sole opponent so far is Richard Yetter, but stay tuned.

I think I was a Homecoming Queen, too.


Anonymous said...

If she loses will she return working for the judge?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I honestly have no idea. I do know that Judge Smith is himself seeking retention this year.

Anonymous said...

Your post hits on a pertinent question, who would WANT to be a district judge? You preside over petty claims and crimes. There was a time when the district judge or magistrate was an older law enforcement veteran who knew the system, and usually had a part or full time job. Now younger and younger people want to serve, and see it as a full-time job. Essentially you end up w/ a costly minor judiciary who are looking to make a name for themselves or use the job as a stepping stone to show how "tough" they are on crime.

Anonymous said...

She is cute!

Anonymous said...

She has my Vote!

Anonymous said...

A major hottie; not that there's anything wrong with that. But seriously, anyone who meets Ed Smith's standards gets my vote. And given her crybaby opponent who didn't learn the sticks and stones rule, she's the better choice.

Anonymous said...

I hear that Easton City Councilman Mike Fleck is announcing as well. Is that correct? Will he crossfile as well?

Anonymous said...

Look more closely into her background before endorsing her...not nearly as educated as her opponent...Also will a single mother really be available to serve 24/7?

Anonymous said...

Yep there's dirt....start looking and asking.

Anonymous said...

First, her frightened opponent fires off a girly nastygram. Then, her character and status as a mother are impugned. The more I learn about her, the more I think her opponent is a little weasel. Apparently, all that extra education hasn't provided any extra intelligence or class.

Anonymous said...

No offense but, if these are your only two opponents, I'd definately win...

Anonymous said...

No one can beat Shana...she is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Campaigns are tough. If there is anything out there a candidate can and should use it.
If anyone is upset by tough campaigning, well get out of the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

But can they beat Mike Fleck? I'm not joking.

Anonymous said...

Shana can defeat fleck and yetter...she has it all...and you know what, she is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. I can't wait to vote for her!

Anonymous said...

My money is on Fleck who controls the WW in Easton and the die hard dems in Wilson and West Easton.

Anonymous said...

Fleck is going to sneak in under the radar while the other 2 fight. he is good at that. Keep fighting you two and you will both lose.

Anonymous said...

controls the ww? another lie.

Anonymous said...

Being nice doesn't mean you are qualified.

Anonymous said...

A past is still a past!

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, from reading all these different views and most of them defensive, I think that everyone needs to take a step back. All we can do is assume unless you are in the “real” circle, which I am not and I don’t think many of you are either. I’m sure that everyone one who knows Shana and Rich think they are great people. Just because you are friends already makes your comments bias and I learned a long time ago that words are just that! words, nothing more.

An adult functioning in society that has strong character and lives a clean life should “not” be bothered by words. In the justice system you need to be able to let things role off your back, not be shaken and be tough skinned (it is a necessity and a way of life).

This all sounds sensible right? So if you are with me so far then you will follow this point.

Who threw the first punch? One more time…. Who threw the “first” punch?

So if you agreed with me up to this point then I ask you… Would an adult functioning in society that has strong character and lives a clean life be bothered by words? Bothered enough to go to an attorney and have a letter drawn up? Its sounds like somebody got their little feelings hurt. It sounds like one of those “truth hurts” kinda things to me.

The people in the business know the real deal and my advise to you all is find a friend of a friend that works for the county, an uncle, cousin or your own attorney and ask them what the real story is. I think that would clear it up. And to the candidates… remember, you function around this area, people see you at your best and worst.

Have a great weekend and learn to read between the lines….

Anonymous said...

There are no secrets in the Courthouse. The past and present will be there for all the candidates.

A pretty smile won't deter the truth.

Anonymous said...

Fleck is a convicted dumpster-diving failed paperboy with a shaky claim of a college degree.

Yetter has quickly establiched himself as a whiny little girl with a mean streak and poor judicial temperament.

I don't know her, but so far, she wins by default over two complete losers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Fleck is a convicted dumpster-diving"

He beat that rap.

Play Nice or Don' Play said...

Anonymous (8:28PM post) said: Campaigns are tough. If there is anything out there a candidate can and should use it.
If anyone is upset by tough campaigning, well get out of the kitchen.

The posted statement above by anonymous at 8:28PM is so unprofessional and clearly shows to every visitor the lack of thought that goes into a public blog posting.

As a person that has been a writer for many a publications I would have to respond to this statement as an invitation as to show the good people of this blog why all candidates seeking an elected position should maintain a short leash on their friends, family and campaign volunteers.

No one candidate should ever run a smear campaign (as Ms. Restucci already has begun). All it accomplishes is to show one’s lack of qualifications to the voters. Voters today are very education intelligent people that quite frankly are tired of this type of smoke and mirror tactics and lack of respect for them as voters.

If one were of the mindset of Ms. Restucci’s supporters with some of the outright lies, accusations and tactics used by said supporters in their postings to date, being a Yetter supporter I would be compelled to post the following:

Ms. Restucci is expected to follow the rules of the judicial system, but yet didn't follow election rules. Now I ask, how does that make for a good candidate?

One violation already as well as one vague area:

Violation- On January 13, 2011 Ms. Restucci published facebook page that was in co-ordination with her press release on said date. Early in the day when made public, the page stated as follows:
Shana Restucci District Judge, not Shana Restucci for District Judge as it currently reads. You cannot portray yourself in a position that you do not hold currently.

Vague Area - Now we move onto the County Employee issue. People have to be asking themselves the following (at some point seeing Ms. Restucci made her intentions publicly know with the press release and is going to report to work for the Honorable Judge Smith on Tuesday since she mentioned the fact she works for Judge Smith in her press release but nothing about when she would be leaving the position).

Can Ms. Restucci, announce a candidacy while maintaining her position as a county employee?

Is it fair that Ms. Restucci can run a campaign from a County Judge's office?

Are the Courts not supposed to be impartial?

Is Ms. Restucci’s current employment against public and or election policy?

Doing a search in the Internet for Pennsylvania Election Laws I found the following which admits that it’s vague and open to interpretation: http://www.pacourts.us/Links/Judiciary

And that is why ladies and gentlemen, one needs to post facts, qualities, and qualifications about the candidate they are backing and not make up a smear campaign.

There are a number of people that will take time to post utter nonsense to this post, but I seriously doubt (besides the blog owner) if I will receive any well thought out coherent responses as I clearly welcome said responses.

Anonymous said...

My bet is on Ms. Restucci,Clear choice. This one is a "no brainer" Anyone that knows Judge Smith knows he is a man with the utmost integrity and would only surround himself with a para-legal for all these years with the same integrity.

Anonymous said...

Neither can match Fleck's GOTV skills. I think Bernie will even admit that. They should be nervous if he runs.