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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Morganelli's Top Assistant Running for DA

The field in the NorCo DA's race is beginning to get crowded. John Morganelli's top assistant, Terry Houck, has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. His news release is below. Without dispute, Terry would be an excellent DA. His opponent is Chief Public Defender Nuria DiLuzio, who would also be excellent.

Among Republicans, the only announced candidate so far is Tom Carroll, who practices almost exclusively in Montgomery County. He did work in the NorCo DA's office for two years, but suddenly resigned.

Who does Morganelli want to succeed him? Because he's running fir judge, he is unable to endorse anyone. 

From Terry Houck's campaign: Today, Northampton First Deputy District Attorney and lifelong Democrat Terry Houck announced his campaign for Northampton DA. Houck also proudly announced that his bid for District Attorney has already received the endorsement of Fraternal Order of Police Washington Lodge #17 (the FOP Lodge of Easton, PA).

In a letter, FOP Lodge #17 said As a former Law Enforcement Officer [Terry Houck] knows the challenges that police officers face on a daily basis and the split second decisions that we are forced to make. [Terry] has promised to pursue the truth no matter where it may lead and for these reasons we are proud to support you in your upcoming campaign for Northampton County District Attorney.”

Houck has served alongside District Attorney John Morganelli as Northampton County’s First Deputy DA for 13 years. As First Deputy District Attorney, Houck oversees 20 attorneys, and all specialized units including the Child Abuse/Sex Offense, Violent Crimes, DUI, Grand Jury, Narcotics and Forfeiture, White Collar, Juvenile, Appellate and Domestic Violence Units.

Houck regularly prosecutes high profile and particularly sensitive cases, including violent crimes and homicides. He has spent over 32 years as a prosecutor in Bucks, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties. For more than 20 years he has specialized in violent crime prosecutions. In his role in Bucks County, he investigated and prosecuted hundreds of sensitive sex offenses and child abuse cases as the Chief Deputy District Attorney.

Prior to his career as a prosecutor, Houck was a decorated Officer of the Philadelphia Police Department, where he earned numerous commendations including the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Award for Bravery.

In a statement, Houck said

I’ve spent my career standing up for victims of crime, and ensuring that those who abused and victimized the vulnerable faced consequences for their actions. For 30 years I’ve seen my role  as a true advocate for victims when they are at their most vulnerable. I’ve stood up for the citizens of Northampton County for 13 years - and as District Attorney, I will keep up that fight.

I grew up one of nine kids in a row home in Philadelphia on a blue collar income. I became a Police Officer because I saw that having a fighting chance at the American Dream meant living in a safe community, free from victimization. When I passed the bar exam and became an attorney, I knew I wanted to spend my career fighting for justice for victims of crime and helping to keep our communities safe. I have spent three decades fulfilling that vision, and I will continue to fulfill it as our District Attorney.

The District Attorney has a duty to the people of Northampton - you put your faith in our office to advocate for you, for all of us, when our laws are broken. I’m not interested in using this role as a platform for higher office, or to move on to the private sector in a few years. Though the responsibilities of the District Attorney are many, the core mission is clear: to continue to fight for and give a voice to the innocent victims in Northampton County.

The FOP Washington Lodge #17 has endorsed my campaign because after my years of service to Northampton County, they have seen my commitment in action. They know the simple truth about me - I will not shy away from the truth, no matter where it leads us.”

About Terry Houck

Terry graduated from the Philadelphia Police Academy in 1977, holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from LaSalle, an M.A. in Human Organization Science from Villanova University and his J.D. from Temple University.

Terry lives in Easton with his wife of 40 years, and has two daughters, a son-in-law and a granddaughter. Terry grew up with 4 brothers and 4 sisters, the child of William and Regina Houck in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he went to Cardinal Dougherty High School.

His career as a prosecutor started in 1986 as an ADA in Bucks County, where he earned a promotion to Chief Deputy District Attorney and headed the Child Abuse/Sex Offense Unit. In 2002, he joined the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office as a Chief Deputy District Attorney and the Chief of the Violent Crime Unit.

In 2006 he was hired by District Attorney John Morganelli as the first full-time First Deputy District Attorney, directly overseeing all specialized units. He has personally investigated and  successfully prosecuted some of the county’s most difficult and high profile cases in the last 13 years, a selection of which are listed below.

Prominent convictions include:  

  • 2007 1st Degree murder convictions of Ali Davis, Demar Edwards and Olayiwola Hollist for the “execution-style” murders of three people in a home in Easton,
  • 2008 1st degree murder conviction of Eugenio Torres for the beating death of a three-year old child.
  • 2017 conviction of Daniel Clary for the Attempted Murder by of Pennsylvania State Troopers Seth Kelly and Ryan Seiple.


Anonymous said...

Good man. It is a shame he doe snot have the right political connections.

Anonymous said...

Yes! He got my vote. The best person for the job.

maverick said...

Impressive resume and experience, by far the best person for the job!

Anonymous said...

He is by far superior candidate by most every important measure. Question is can he withstand the bumrush of support for a candidate with a long history of distemper.

Anonymous said...

Bah Blah Blah.... Len Zito for DA!

Anonymous said...

When is Roseanne Joseph going to announce? Time is running out. The grapevine has it that she is looking into it and is considering forming a committee. I will volunteer as soon as she declares. Good woman. Great credentials.

Anonymous said...

Roseanne, you are a good person. If you want to run, run. It will be a split field and you have a chance. The problem is DiLuzio has Bethlehem and you and Houck must split the other vote. You will do well in Easton but where else? Do you have the funds needed to run?

Peter J.Cochran said...

Roseanne is a wonderful person and possess complete absence of any integrity violations. I’m a hard R ,as you may know and I would love to see her in this post. I vote a accountability and personal integrity only. I would work her campaign. I sign my name here ,because I’m not ashamed after I post it.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Now I say this on my last post knowing that other people that run are great folks too.

Anonymous said...

Houck has the best qualifications so far. Appears he wants the job because after being an assisant prosecutor for decades it would be the next logical step for this guy. That is commendable in my book. No puppet here just a hard working prosecutor not being pushed by rich friends or family members with political agendas. Lets sign him up!

Anonymous said...

Looks like he ran twice for DA in Bucks County and lost, then worked in Lehigh County, then left there and worked in Northampton County's DA office. He has lived in Northampton County only a few months, so I guess that means he has never been able to vote in the county for which he wants to serve as District Attorney.

Anonymous said...

Where any candidate has or has not been eligible to vote during previous elections makes no difference to me. What does make a difference is which candidate has the best skills and most experience to exceed in the new role. Equently as important is what have the candidates been doing to prepare for this before news of any election. Those areas will set candidates apart. We'll hear claims of committment to victims and wanting to advocate for all citizens. I suggest evaluating those claims to see which have been or were they busy chaseing ambulances, litigating asbestos matters, profiting from families divorcing, or representing criminals until recent.

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled to hear that Terry is running for DA! He is an excellent attorney, hardworking, and a great guy. I am familiar with all of the candidates and he is without a doubt the best person for the job.

Anonymous said...

He definitely has my vote.

I knew him when he worked in Lehigh County. One case comes to mind. I investigated a woman for Child Abuse. She physically abused a 2yo child whom she was babysitting- nearly killed him, actually, via violently shaking and then strangling him to the point of unconsciousness; but he was taken to LVH in time and survived.

The Perpetrator came from a family of substantial financial means and hired now-disgraced Attorney John Karoly. The case (was purposefully) dragged on for a couple of years as petition after petition was filed by Karoly. The ADA handling the case was Kelly (Waldron) Banach. When she was elected to the Bench, the case was re-assigned To Attorney Houck.

Attorney Houck invited me to his office to discuss the case. I kept meticulous notes outlining everything that has happened in the case, including being Court-Ordered off of the Dependency case in Juvenile Court, as Karoly did a lot of grandstanding and even at one point called me, "The Gestapo". Our C&Y attorney did little, if anything, to protect me or the case. The child's parents were outraged.

Anyway, once Attorney Houck took over the case in Criminal Court, a cloud lifted. He listened to the evidence I painstakingly laid out for him detailing Karoly's efforts to silence me and thwart this case at every turn. He guaranteed me that this case would be a priority for him and will be resolved imminently. Within a few months, and after several more Karoly petitions filed, the case went before the Court. I was there with the victim's parents, LVH medical staff and the case file. After about 2 hours of more Karoly grandstanding and more personal attacks on yours truly, Attorney Houck would not concede. Exasperated, the Judge finally told Karoly that his client had better accept a plea deal or it's going to trial- No more delays. Attorney Houck stuck to his Plea offer and the perpetrator finally pleaded guilty. ...And Justice was served. Thank you Attorney Houck.

Anonymous said...

Vote Terry Houck!!!

Anonymous said...

Terry is the most qualified! No political agenda,hard working,no nonsense. His integrity is impeccable. You have my vote!!!