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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Rumor Mill: Are Morganelli and Zito Trading Places?

John Morganelli is Northampton County's four-term District Attorney. He's currently seeking a fifth term, unopposed, as the County's top crime dog, with an annual salary of $160,849. But according to the rumor mill, he won't be around much longer. At least not as DA.

Lenny Zito is one of Northampton County's nine judges. Although he was just elected, he can only serve until 2014, when he turns 70. He'll be a young 70, and is far too active to be content as a senior judge. So the rumblings among several local lawyers is that Morganelli will run for Zito's job, and the bench will appoint Zito as District Attorney.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

This rumor has been around for awhile. There is one other aspect. Morganelli will run for a 4th time in 2012 to be AG. If he looses, he'll seek Zito's position the following yeaer and then the Bench with him as a member will put Zito in to fill the balance of his term. Zito will state that he will not seek to run and the judges will come off looking like they stayed out of politics by not providing someone an incumbancy.

Rich said...

Morganelli is not in the race for AG, and probably is too late to get in at this point. Patrick Murphy is already in and has raised boatloads of cash.

Zorn said...

typical norco dems kissing each others backsides and protecting the good ole boy club. these people have no shame

Anonymous said...

Morganelli isn't ethically fit to catch dogs. I guess he finally gave up the ridiculous notion of statewide office for a small town hack.

Anonymous said...

They are two fine Pa Dutchmen!

Anonymous said...

I hope you are correct that Morganelli isn't in the AG race. However, I think he has a very large ego and that race is in 2012 not 2011 so he has plenty of time to get in that race and he has money as well. He can join Bruce Castor in the 2nd place for AG club.

Harry O' Bern said...

Six of one, beggar's dozen of the other.

Anonymous said...

Check your laws
Certain elected offices, upon being vacated,are filled by appointment. Judges are appointed by the Governor. I believe the Controller is also appointed by the Governor. A N D I believe the District Attorney would be appointed by the Governor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have checked the laws.

Section 1-101 of the HRC identifies the District Attorney as one of the County's elected officials. Section 1-105 provides that any vacancy by an elected official shall be filled by Council, or, if they are unable to agree, the judges.

They would very likely punt that question to the Courts.

Now, what law can you cite to tell me that a County's DA is to be appointed by the Governor?

Anonymous said...

Actually, both are wrong. There is a court case on point that says state law trumps the HRC-- the Judges appoint the DA if vacancy occurs.

Anonymous said...

was that trading places or trading spit?