Race to replace retiring South Hills district judge heats up

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Three people say they plan to seek nominations for magisterial district judge in court 05-2-16 for the May 21 primary.

Lawyers Sean Audley and Guy Reschenthaler and retired police officer Edward Snee seek to replace retiring District Judge Pat A. Capolupo, who has held the seat for five years and is retiring. District court 05-2-16 handles cases in Jefferson Hills, Pleasant Hills and South Park Township.

Nominating petitions to run in the primary were due March 12 to the Allegheny County Elections Division. Elections officials will then certify the signatures for candidates. Audley, Reschenthaler and Snee said they are cross-filing, which means they will seek both the Democratic and Republican nominations.

Audley, 49, is a 22-year Pleasant Hills resident, who has for the last 10 years had a general practice firm, Audley Law, in the borough.

“I like living in the community (and) working in the community,” Audley said.

He also worked for 23 years as a law clerk for Judge Jeffrey A. Manning, of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, where he wrote opinions for cases. He resigned last month to run for district judge.

“I'm more committed to serving the local community,” Audley said. “I have the experience. You can't really sit as a judge without having significant experience practicing law.”

Audley graduated from Allegheny College in Crawford County and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Reschenthaler, 29, of Jefferson Hills, who works as a lawyer at the firm Cipriani & Werner. A former Navy lieutenant in charge of the Texas/Oklahoma area of operations, he also spent time prosecuting terrorists in the Iraqi court system.

“I want to continue community service,” Reschenthaler said. “I would put my experience up against anyone.”

Reschenthaler graduated from Penn State Behrend in Erie and the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh before attending officer-development school in Newport, R.I.

Snee, 61, is a 45-year resident of South Park Township and worked as a police officer in the municipality for 33 years before retiring in 2007. He is in his fourth year as the one of the municipality's three township supervisors, an elected position.

“I have the hands-on experience. As a police officer, (I have) excellent representation in court,” said Snee, adding that his career and residency in the township brings him in contact with issues a district judge would deal with regularly.

Snee ran for district judge in 2007 and lost to Capolupo by 128 votes, he said.

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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