MERCER COUNTY Hinch begins term as magisterial district judge

The district judge replaces Ruth French in Mercer.
MERCER, Pa. -- Mercer County commissioners were expected today to formally accept the resignation of Lorinda Hinch, Mercer County first assistant district attorney, who has been appointed magisterial district judge of District Court 3 based in Mercer.
Hinch was appointed to replace the retired Judge Ruth French. The district judge term expires in January 2008. Hinch began her new job this week.
She was nominated to the seat by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate.
A Democrat, she replaces French, who, though a Republican, won her only contested election on the Democratic ticket. District judge candidates usually file for election on both tickets.
Previous experience
A Penn Hills native, Hinch came to Mercer County in 1981 after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh Law School. She served one year as a clerk for the late Judge Albert Acker. In 1982 she was appointed assistant public defender in the Mercer County Public Defender's Office and in 1983 was named first assistant public defender. In 1986, she was named a supervisory assistant district attorney for Mercer County and in 1992 appointed first assistant district attorney.
Hinch said her first three days in the job have been "exciting" and that she has a wonderful staff. She said she is looking forward to the challenges of her new post.
Commissioners also were expected today to name Samuel Zuck, an assistant district attorney, to fill the first assistant post formerly held by Hinch. Community Prosecutor Robert Kochems will be appointed as full-time assistant district attorney to replace Zuck.

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