The county district attorney's office is creating a mainly full-time staff of assistant district attorneys.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- There are some changes planned for the Lawrence County courts and the district attorney's office this year.
The Lawrence County Salary Board created and shuffled around several positions at its meeting Tuesday.
A staff was created for Judge Thomas Piccione of common pleas court, who was elected in November to the county's newly created fourth judgeship.
They include a court assistant, court security guard, an executive secretary and a law clerk. The law clerk position, however, will not be filled until May as a cost-saving measure, said President-Judge Ralph Pratt.
He said Judge Piccione will share a law clerk with Judge Dominick Motto for the next five months.
Retained position: Salary board members also voted to retain a juvenile court master. Judge Pratt initially said the juvenile court master position would be eliminated with the election of a fourth judge, but said Tuesday that the position is still needed for at least another year.
"My goal is to have a judge rule over all juvenile cases, but I think we need an additional year to get to that point," he said. Susan Papa serves as juvenile court master.
Some changes also are planned for the district attorney's office.
District Attorney Matthew Mangino asked the salary board to create five full-time and one part-time assistant district attorney positions. There are three full-time and five part-time assistant district attorneys, and two people will be eliminated from the office when the new configuration goes into effect Feb. 1, he said. He would not say whose jobs are being eliminated.
Mangino said the change is needed to make the office more efficient.
"You need to have [assistant district attorneys] whose primary focus is on prosecution," he said.
The change will not cost the county any more because of the two eliminated part-time positions, he said.