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Pa. district justice appointment confirmed

January 29, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

Pa. district justice appointment confirmed

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Pennsylvania State Senate this week confirmed the appointment of Shirley Shatzer as district justice.

She replaced John Ommert, who retired in June, 21/2 years into his six-year term.

Shatzer, 61, could take over the bench in as soon as two weeks, said Jerry Feaser, an aide to Gov. Tom Ridge who nominated her for the job. All that's left now is for Shatzer's commission to be signed and for her to be sworn in, he said.

Shatzer said she didn't know which judge would do the honors.

Ommert recommended Shat-zer, a Republican, for the job when he left. She started working as a part-time secretary in Ommert's office in 1984 and went full time in 1986.

Shatzer will become the only woman among Franklin County's six district justices.

Ommert's duties have been assumed in recent months by retired Senior District Justice J. William Stover.

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Shatzer said she has been sitting in on some of Stover's cases for training. She completed the district justice certification program at Wilson College, a requirement for nomination.

"I've been qualified since Dec. 19," Shatzer said.

State Sen. Terry Punt, R-Franklin, notified her of her confirmation on Tuesday, she said.

"I'm looking forward to taking the bench, but I guess I'm a little nervous. I hope I can be fair to everyone and be efficient, too," she said.

Shatzer will fill out Ommert's unexpired term until December 1999. After that, she will have to run for re-election if she wants to keep the job.

District justices serve six-year terms and are the first level in the Pennsylvania judicial system.

Shatzer and her husband Allen Shatzer, 61, live in Greencastle. They reared four children, and have five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, she said.

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