Corbett taps Downtown attorney for Allegheny County bench
By Bobby Kerlik
Published: Friday, June 8, 2012, 5:44 p.m.
Updated: Saturday, June 9, 2012
Gov. Tom Corbett today nominated a Downtown attorney to fill the last open slot on the Allegheny County Common Pleas bench.
The governor nominated Paul Cozza, 51, a Baldwin Township Democrat. His name will be forwarded onto the Senate for approval along with nominees for five other judicial vacancies across the state.
"He was highly recommended by both Senator (Jay) Costa (D-Forest Hills) and Senator (Wayne) Fontana (D-Brookline)," said Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley. "He currently works as a legal adviser for Senator Fontana."
Cozza has been a member of Fontana's legislative staff since 2006, working on constituency relations.
Allegheny County Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel appointed Cozza to the Board of Viewers in November 2009. The board hears real estate assessment appeals, eminent domain and condemnation cases.
Board of Viewers administrator Michelle Lally said Cozza informed her earlier this week he would be nominated for a spot on the bench.
"He's a smart guy," Lally said. "He's very fair, very low key."
Cozza also was picked in 2006 to serve as a member of the board of the Economic Development Infrastructure Tourism Fund, which decides which local projects get a portion of casino money.
Corbett last month nominated his chief of staff, William Ward, 60, a Mt. Lebanon Republican, to fill another vacancy on the bench.
The Senate must confirm both nominations. Cozza and Ward would serve on the bench until the end of 2013 and would have to run for election that year to keep the positions.
Judicial vacancies arose from Judge David Wecht's election to Superior Court and Judge Robert Kelly's elevation to senior status, Allegheny County court administrators have said.
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.