Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Does Magisterial District Judge Candidate Colon Pass the Residence Test?

I have previously told you about two candidates seeking the magisterial district judge seat currently held by Nancy Matos Gonzalez.  She's retiring, and Tony Rybak and Jordan Knisley have both announced they'd like to succeed her. Both are long-time South side residents. Both are assistant public defenders. I recently learned there's a third candidate, Chrstian Colon. 

According to his campaign webpage, he just passed the bar exam in October after graduating from from Pitt Law in May. He is running as a bilingual Puerto Rican who "worked for years as a blue collar worker." 

I received a number of anonymous negative comments about his qualifications, basically challenging his residency. I asked him to respond on Facebook by linking to them. He deleted the link and messaged me to say he refuses to respond to anonymous comments. 

Is that because they are anonymous or because they are true? 

These comments, posted on my Jordan Knisley blog, raise serious questions about his qualifications as a resident of the district. 

Under Pennsylvania law, a magisterial district judge must be a citizen of the Commonwealth, at least 21 yrs old and must have resided within his district for at least one year prior to his election or appointment. Colon may fail to pass the residency test. 

Here's what some of the comments, which obviously come from either the Rybak or Knisley camp, say:  

"Did you hear about this kid Christian Colon who is running for this seat? He just graduated from Pitt law school in May, passed the bar in December. He grew up on the South Side, but his parents moved to Bethlehem Township a few years ago. He was living with them until a few weeks ago when he decided to run for this seat. Kind of an interesting path to take to become an MDJ."

"Christian Colon STILL lives in the Township. Take a drive past his parents' fancy, very un-Southside home on Long Drive and you'll see his fancy, very un-Southside white BMW parked out front all day and night, save for when he's traipsing around the Southside pretending that he lives there. If he's going to say "From the Southside - For the Southside" then shouldn't he be registered to vote in that district? Well, he's not. He's not even registered to vote in Northampton County. As of 10:00am, he is registered to vote in Allegheny County, with a residential address of 1821 Wylie Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Even his PA Bar Registration, which he's only had since December 31st - listed his parents Long Drive address in the Township - until yesterday. Now, it lists his address as 1349 Lynn Avenue, which is an old fire station, located in Englesson's district. This kid has zero chance of ever being elected and he needs to stop wasting his and everyone else's time with this ridiculous campaign. Oh, and #DontListenToOlga"

"You are correct concerning the residency requirement. The earliest he could have hatched this harebrained idea is December 31st when he passed the bar exam, thus fulfilling one of the requirements to hold said office. We know that he lived in the Township then because (among a mountain of other evidence) that is the address that he registered with the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Obviously, this is well beyond the one year cutoff date. Statutorily, he is 100% NOT qualified to be elected."

Colon can circulate a petition, but it looks like he's going to be challenged. 

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, at his age he was supposed to file residency tax on permanent address. Yes or no? I know I had to. Auto registration, Voter registration, credit card bills , you live were your toothbrush and underwear are. Geez I got stories about this subject.

Anonymous said...

Canon 4 of the Code of Judicial Conduct is going to be a thorn in Colon’s side...

“ Rule 4.1. Political and Campaign Activities of Judges and Judicial Candidates in General.
(A) Except as permitted by Rules 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4, a judge or a judicial candidate shall not:...
(9) knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth make any false or misleading statement;”

“Rule 4.2. Political and Campaign Activities of Judicial Candidates in Public Elections.
(A) A judicial candidate in a public election shall:...
(1) act at all times in a manner consistent with the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary;
(2) comply with all applicable election, election campaign, and election campaign fundraising laws and regulations of this jurisdiction;...”

Since Colon is officially on notice that he does not meet the residency requirement, by circulating a petition, he’ll be perpetrating a fraud. Not the best start to a legal career...

Anonymous said...

WOW - On his “campaign” website, Colon says that he passed the Bar Exam in October. Not so fast my friend... Colon sat for the Bar Exam in October. Colon didn’t pass the Bar Exam until December. This is when Colon registered his address with the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board at mommy and daddy’s house in the Township. It is at this point - well beyond the one year residency requirement - that he concocted this idiotic idea. If Christian Colon will lie about when he passed the bar exam, then imagine what else he will lie about. #NotAResident

Anonymous said...

His chance is like a STD and his campaign is DOA

Anonymous said...

Making a false sworn declaration on a candidate's affidavit would also be a bad way to start a legal career. The Candidate's Affidavit sets forth that the candidate is eligible for the office he/she intends to seek. A false sworn affidavit would definitely be grounds to bring him before the Attorney Disciplinary Board.

Anonymous said...

One of your anonymous tipsters wrote "you must be a member of the Bar to serve as magistrate. That is not a requirement. In days of old, Justices of the peace (as they were called) were the average ordinary citizen. When the position of "District Magistrate" was created and a salary provided which was commensurate with the position (Justices of the Peace were paid out of fees collected, there was no salary or benefits) lawyers saw the position as a easy second job. They got a pension, they got a great salary, the job was part time, they had their rent paid for the office, someone else cleaned up the office, they had a staff, they could hire anyone they wanted (one magistrate even hired his mother) and they could still practice law.
There is a requirement that you must attend and pass a state certified school for magistrates. You do not have to be a lawyer. Always look for the average citizen when filling these slots. Remember the Jimmy Stocklas', the Elizabeth Romigs, the Maura's, the Gonsalez, (misspelled?) and the list goson of the good magistrates that weren't lawyers. You won't regret it.

Anonymous said...

Someone should call him and tell him to let this one go before he embarrasses himself.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:56 Too late.

Anonymous said...

You know, whether he is immature and misinterpreted/misunderstood/just missed the residency requirement, let's hope he will learn and move on. Many of us have made idiotic mistakes in our early lives. It's really unfair to condemn someone for the rest of their professional life because of this mistake. In essence, that's what almost all the responses are saying. Give him space to do the right thing and rescind his announcement and let him learn and move on. And go find someone else to pick on.

Anonymous said...

Joe Fritzo , in his car lot. Then “District Magistrates —Walter Auch , famous for “drive -by” arraignments.in his driveway. Gambosi ,Bethlehem, Joe Leo , Easton

Anonymous said...

"One of your anonymous tipsters wrote "you must be a member of the Bar to serve as magistrate." Actually, they did not say that. They said he only became qualified when he passed the bar in December.

Colon obviously did not attend the course and pass the test to be an MDJ. He is only qualified to serve due to his passing the bar. Prior to passing the bar, he did not meet that qualification.

Anonymous said...

@8:25 am... citizen mini judges are really great for sure, but one thing the Stocklas, Romig, and Matos-Gonzalez all have in common.... they lived in their districts. This dude does not. #NotAResident

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...
Someone should call him and tell him to let this one go before he embarrasses himself.

February 9, 2021 at 8:56 AM"

Someone should call him and tell him to give this up before he ends up disbarred or suspended.

Anonymous said...

If it's true that he is being untruthful about this, then he should remove himself from the race. Voters are tired of untruthfulness, we have had enough of it in the last 4 years!

Anonymous said...

Christian Colon needs to bow out of this thing quickly and quietly - no more videos from the smooth jazz cigar bar.
#OlgaNegronIsNotYourFriend

Anonymous said...

Christian Colon has now changed his address with the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for the 3rd time in as many days. He’s now moved from the old dilapidated fire station at 1349 Lynn Avenue in MDJ Englesson’s district to 306 S New Street. This is the Venture X office space at the corner of Third and New Streets. Unfortunately, there is no residential space there (not that it matters, now), only commercial. Also, despite moving the address of his PA Bar Registration three times in as many days, Christian Colon still fails to disclose that he has Professional Liability Insurance. Someone help this poor kid - he’s in way over his head. #StopListeningToOlga

Anonymous said...

Who told you to do a Rumor hit piece on this fellow?

C said...

He's a good guy, young and feisty. Played semi pro football in the Lehigh Valley (Lehigh Valley Storm) for years prior to going to law school. As his team doctor I can say that he was always respectful and humble. While I can't speak to his residency I can say that it is great to watch one of our players go on to graduate from law school. He worked hard to get there. I wish him success and wisdom.

Bernie O'Hare said...

C, “Feisty” is not a quality one looks for in a judge.

Anonymous said...

Elect Christian Colon! He’s feisty and played semi-pro football!!!

Anonymous said...

@ 3:44pm

These aren’t rumors, they’re confirmed facts, jack!

As for it being a hit piece, well, politics is a contact sport.

If his handlers had half of a functioning brain, then they’d throw in the towel!!!

#ThrowTheTowelOlga

Anonymous said...

anon 6:11, you sound mentally stable alright. Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen/heard Christian Colón’s appearance on La Mega? Colón speaks HORRIBLE Spanish!!! He sounds like a typical gringo ordering “más cervezas por favor”. As someone who actually speaks Spanish and actually resides in the district, I won’t be voting for this fraud!

Anonymous said...

We need to change the law to say someone must be a resident for 5 years. to run for office, any public office in a municipality, township, county or the state. And perhaps it should be 7 years at the state level. And 10 years to represent the state on a federal level.

c said...

Nope Bernie, you are correct. He was a feisty young man 10 years ago when I saw him last. He's probably no longer the 20 year old kid I knew. Can't say whether he's a good candidate for this office or not and semi pro ball is neither a qualifier nor a disqualifier. It just is. I'm just happy to see him out there trying to better himself, although I suspect there is a lesson in this for him to learn. He might be better off getting his feet under him before venturing into this fray.

Anonymous said...

Can Christian Colon’s handlers please let him know that trying to hide his white BMW by parking it in the back of his parent’s driveway on Long Drive in Bethlehem Township doesn’t magically make him a resident of South Bethlehem since November 4, 2020. The same goes for posting pictures of himself in the pedestrian crosswalk of the 3rd & New building. How about he posts some pictures of himself shoveling out his constituent neighbors in South Bethlehem. Oh, that’s right, because he lives in the Township #NotAResident #Fraud

Anonymous said...

Is this kid really planning on allowing Luz Cruz and Ivan Encarnacion to perjure themselves by saying that he doesn’t still live in their home on Long Drive, MILES outside of South Bethlehem?!?!?
Is Colon really hellbent on throwing away his law license by falsely swearing, on penalty of perjury, that he is a resident of the District for the requisite period of time?!?!?
Tune in next week to find out...

Anonymous said...

Why does Christian Colon keep deleting his Facebook posts about petition circulation every time it’s pointed out that he’s not a resident of the district he’s pretending to run for district magisterial justice of the peace in?!?!?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Making these observations here will not help you unless you have a good lawyer who is prepared to challenge Colon. Hope you're taking pictures.

Anonymous said...

How many pictures would you like to see??? There are daily photographs since the January 11th Bethlehem Dems meeting where Olga’s puppet anointed himself as Nancy Matos-Gonzalez successor. I would post them here but the platform does not allow for that. ¡Mucha surete mi amigo!

Bernie O'Hare said...

It’s not what I’d like to see. It’s a case for the courts, not this blog. What I’m telling you is to get your shit together and get a good lawyer so you can challenge. You will lose if you fail to do it correctly.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Evidence. Evidence. Evidence.

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for the kid. People like Rosado and Olga put the idea of running into his head and it could cost him his career. Lying under penalty of perjury is not a good way to start a career as a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

If Christiano lives in Bethlehem Township, he can run for judge there, because Judge Broscius is up for reelection there. He can campaign in that district, if he lives there. She is really sick and maybe she won't run for another term. I guess he never responded to your request to say where he lives? You aren't anonymous. Can you post his response? We need younger judges. A lot of them are old and out of touch with what is going on in society today. If he isn't a resident of "southside", he can still fullfill his dreams of being a judge in Bethlehem Township.

Bernie, anyone running in Bethlehem Township? Is Broscius going to run again? Can you do a piece on that? She beat out two district attorneys in her last race, in 2015. If no one runs against her now, she will win again automatically.

Anonymous said...

Colon is out, not running anymore. Hmm.