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Westmoreland clerk of courts will try to win re-election

Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Clerk of Courts Bryan Kline will try to accomplish something this fall that no other Republican row officer has done in more than 50 years in Westmoreland County.

Kline will try to win re-election.

“Politicians need to be judged on their results and I have a proven record of producing results,” Kline said Thursday as he announced his plans to seek a second four-year term.

Kline, 32, of Penn Township, a political newcomer four years ago, was the first Republican to be elected to a county row office in more than five decades.

The Clerk of Courts office oversees all criminal court records.

Since taking office in 2010, Kline said, he focused on increasing collections for fines, court costs and restitution payments owed by defendants to crime victims.

To increase those collections, Kline convened administrative hearings with defendants and took those who still refused to pay to Common Pleas Court for contempt of court hearings.

Last year, his office collected $5.4 million and that number is expected to grow to $6 million this year, Kline said.

Kline implemented a system to allow defendants to make payments via the Internet and imposed a new $11.50 fee for defendants to cover administrative costs of the office.

Kline's unexpected victory in 2010 set the stage for a Republican takeover at the courthouse two years later, when the GOP seized control of the commissioners office and won all five row office positions on the ballot.

“My re-election will set a precedent for people who are up the next time,” Kline said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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