Centre County District Legal professional Bernie Cantorna is functioning for a second phrase as the county’s leading prosecutor.
Cantorna, the 1st introduced prospect for district legal professional in the Might 18 major, 1st received election in 2017 when he defeated incumbent Stacy Parks Miller in the Democratic key and ran unopposed on the ballot in the normal election.
“Four a long time in the past, I declared my candidacy for Centre County District Lawyer due to the fact our lawful process was in crisis,” Cantorna reported in a assertion on Monday. “During my first expression, our business office has worked diligently to restore community have faith in by building a committed workforce of employees and attorneys who function tricky each day to hold the responsible accountable, secure the harmless and maintain the dignity of victims and their family members.”
In his initial calendar year as DA, Cantorna’s place of work efficiently prosecuted 4 murder circumstances — an unprecedented feat in Centre County — acquiring guilty verdicts or pleas in each.
Cantorna reported that prior to his getting office environment the backlog of serious situations meant it would be two to 3 yr before they came to court, but that his business office brought the hold out time down to a 12 months or significantly less.
“COVID has been a challenge for all of us and it has produced a backlog of conditions in our authorized system that our workplace will get the job done as a result of again,” he said.
In a next expression, Cantorna explained, his office environment would go on to develop on two specialized diversionary applications developed past yr — the Behavioral and Psychological Well being Diversionary Initiative and Veterans Procedure Track — and the Centre County Drug Courtroom, a rehabilitation software that began accepting candidates at the get started of his phrase.
“If elected to a second expression, my principal emphasis will be to make certain that our group is kept secure and that we go on to get the job done towards options that solve the underlying difficulties that carry folks to court,” Cantorna claimed.
Cantorna moved to State Higher education in 1998 with his spouse and daughters and invested 20 years in private exercise centered in felony defense and civil plaintiff litigation.
A Chicago native, Cantorna acquired a organization administration degree from St. Mary’s University and was a qualified public accountant prior to graduating from the College of Wisconsin Legislation University in 1990, the place he would later invest 5 yrs as a clinical professor. He began his authorized occupation as an assistant general public defender in rural Wisconsin.
He also was a senior employees member at the Demo Lawyer’s School, the place he structured and taught graduate amount regulation courses to other lawyers.
Outdoors the courtroom, Cantorna is head mentor of the Point out College Location Large Faculty girls’ rugby team and a defensive coach for the women’s rugby team at Penn State, the place both of his daughters have been All-People in the sport.
Cantorna has been satisfied with criticism in some quarters for declining to prosecute the Point out College police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Osaze Osagie in 2019. Next a condition law enforcement investigation of the case, Cantorna concluded the capturing was justified and that the officers were in a life-or-loss of life problem.
The 3/20 Coalition, the advocacy team formed subsequent Osagie’s dying, has called for Cantorna’s recusal and resignation as state law enforcement examine new allegations, disclosed in a civil lawsuit submitted by Osagie’s spouse and children, regarding the now previous officer who shot Osagie and a now retired supervising captain. Cantorna stated he was earlier unaware of the allegations, won’t recuse from the circumstance and that the most important obligation in these kinds of matters is with the area district lawyer.
Cantorna did recuse from yet another high-profile scenario at the begin of his expression when he requested the Pennsylvania Legal professional General’s Business office to prosecute the former Beta Theta Pi fraternity members billed in connection with the demise of Timothy Piazza. Cantorna mentioned he experienced beforehand served as counsel to some of these associated.
Tuesday is the previous working day for candidates to file nomination papers to surface on the major ballot. Countywide candidates are necessary to post a minimal of 250 signatures from eligible voters on nomination petitions.
Cantorna claimed 68 volunteers flow into his petitions and gathered far more than 1,065 signatures.
“I am humbled by this present of help,” he stated.