Monday, September 16, 2013

District Judge Taschner Resigns as President of Judges' Ass'n

District Judge Jackie Taschner has stepped down as President of the Northampton County Magisterial District Judges Association. She cites family obligations. Her District includes Tatamy as well as Palmer and ForksTownship.

Her decision comes after the Association voted, on August 20, to submit a new, controversial, redistricting proposal to the Supreme Court. Under a plan already approved by the Supreme Court, two magisterial districts in the northwestern corner of the County will be consolidated. This will force a run-off election between District Judges Diane Marakovits and Robert Hawke. Under the plan proposed by District Judges, Joseph Barner's seat in Bethlehem Township will instead be eliminated. Barner intends to retire, so a run-off election would be unnecessary.

Though the District Judge Plan avoids an election contest, it has been criticized by police chiefs, Hanover Township and State Senator Lisa Boscola as an exaltation of political considerations over the best interests of the public. President Judge Stephen Baratta told the Supreme Court it comes at "the expense of convenience, rationality and gerrymandering."

Judge Taschner also confirmed that the redistricting plan approved on August 20 was done by secret ballot. All fifteen District Judges either appeared personally or by proxy. Their new redistricting plan passed by a bare majority, 8-7.

Judge Taschner's duties will be assumed by District Judge Diane Marakovits, who currently serves as Vice President.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for Jacki for taking a stand here. Although I hope she reconsiders because she's the only voice of reason amongst this lot at times.

Anonymous said...

12:45, what the hell are you talking about? Jacki was the one that held a secret ballot. Jacki was the one that wouldn't fulfill a request for information. Jacki is the one that supported gerrymandering. Voice of reason? Are you kidding me!! She screwed up and now, she knows it. That's why she resigned. This is all about self-preservation and not about righteously serving the public.

Anonymous said...

Taschner violated public trust. She's lost all respect for presiding over a sneaky scheme. And she still sits in judgement of others. Disgraceful. She owes the public an explanation of every detail of the vote.

Anonymous said...

The situation only makes sense if she resigned in protest of the vote. However, if the opposite is true, then I would have to agree.

Anonymous said...

Well You people really should know what Your talking about before passing judgement because You definately do not have the facts!!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am trying to get the facts. Unfortunately I was waylaid today and unable to get certain materials that I want to do sure with my readers. But let me say this. I have the highest regard for District Judge Jackie Taschner. I got to know her during her days as an assistant district attorney. Her integrity is beyond dispute. I think that no matter what side you take in this matter we have a pretty good group of district judges who try to be fair in the court room

Anonymous said...

BO,

I'm not disputing their conduct or integrity within the courtroom. What I do object to, is their conduct outside the public courtroom and inside or behind closed doors. Eight DJ's out of fifteen collaborated to change (gerrymander) the magisterial districts for their own self-preservation. A "secret" ballot was cast, without any accountability on their part. How convenient! Hawke should be ashamed of himself for drafting this alternative plan. And I expected more from Jackie.

Anonymous said...

We know she was the president. We know she admits to a secret vote conducted by her group. She deserves the benefit of the doubt regarding her motivations. But given what we know, she's got some splainin' to do. Her resignation after the revelations of the shady deal came to light is certainly interesting.

Anonymous said...

How in the world can District Justices have anything to do with eliminating their offices.I must be missing something here.

Anonymous said...

This is how corrupt NorCo is. Too bad for all these pathetic DJs who voted yes that this hair brain scheme will not fly in Harrisburg.

Anonymous said...

It was a mandate of the redistricting that no two sitting DJs run against each other. When Masut retired in WInd Gap they had their chance (Judcial committee) to do the most sensible and convenient closure)and did nothing with 1 year notice. When Gay ELwell passed, they did not close her office. NOw they are stuck with some dilemass of their own making, and denying any responsibility for the problem. This is the only county that failed to fill the mandate . It is not the DJs but the judge(s) who did not do the right thing in the first place who should be faulted here. and it is not a hair brained scheme when you get the whole story and follow the failures to do the job in the first place