B-PEP urges Wolf to fill Allegheny County court vacancy with African-American | TribLIVE.com

B-PEP urges Wolf to fill Allegheny County court vacancy with African-American

Paul Guggenheimer
Rosemary Crawford

Citing a lack of diversity on the Allegheny County bench, Pittsburgh’s Black Political Empowerment Project is calling on Gov. Tom Wolf to appoint Rosemary Crawford to fill a vacancy on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

In a letter to the governor, B-PEP Chairman and CEO Tim Stevens wrote that “Ms. Crawford is an African-American who was ‘highly recommended’ by the Allegheny County Bar Association in 2013. We feel that Ms. Crawford would be a very qualified jurist and a fair and impartial jurist.”

Crawford of Allison Park has been an attorney for more than 30 years. She serves as a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee in federal court, as a mediator and arbitrator. She practices law with Crawford McDonald LLC.

The letter goes on to say that the absence of black judges in Pennsylvania courts must be addressed.

“Statewide there remains a dearth of African Americans elected to judicial seats throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and we ask that you use your influence to help correct that problem,” said Stevens.

“There are 43 judges who sit on the Allegheny County bench, yet only 3 of those judges are African-American, and not one of them preside in Criminal Court despite the overwhelming number of African-Americans who come before that same court on a daily basis.”

The governor’s spokesman, J.J. Abbott, says Wolf “appreciates the perspective shared in this letter.

“We are currently working through the judicial nomination process with the Senate, which must approve all nominees, and will announce nominations once that collaborative process is complete.”

The vacancy on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas was created by the retirement of Judge Donna Jo McDaniel.

Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.