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Shippensburg assistant DA nominated for judge spot

June 03, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA.

A Franklin County assistant district attorney has been nominated by Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to fill the vacancy created last year by the death of Magisterial District Judge Larry Meminger.

Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney Todd R. Williams of Shippensburg, Pa., was nominated by Rendell Thursday, said Michael Smith, a spokesman for the governor's office. The Senate has 25 legislative days to vote on the nomination, Smith said. The Senate is back in session Monday.

"It's unfortunate this opportunity had to come as a result of the passing of Larry Meminger, someone I knew for many years and for whom I had a great deal of respect," Williams said Friday.

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Williams, a Republican, said he received a call from the governor's office Thursday, his 13th anniversary with the District Attorney's Office.

Meminger died in his home on March 30, 2005, at the age of 46. He had served as the magisterial district judge for District 39-3-04 since 1984 and was elected to the post four times.

District 39-3-04 includes Greene and Southampton townships, the borough of Orrstown and the Franklin County portion of the borough of Shippensburg.

A simple majority vote of the GOP-controlled state Senate is required to confirm Williams' nomination, Smith said.

State Sen. Terry Punt, R-Franklin-Adams-York, had supported Meminger's widow, Kindra Meminger, for the position until she withdrew her name from consideration last fall. Punt then backed Williams for the position.

Williams, 40, graduated from the Dickinson School of Law in 1992 and soon thereafter, took a position with the Franklin County Public Defender's Office. The following year, he joined the District Attorney's Office, and is its longest-serving full-time assist district attorney.

During that time, he has prosecuted thousands of cases, among them at least three criminal homicide cases that resulted in first-degree murder convictions at trial or by plea agreement.

If confirmed to fill the vacancy, Williams would have to run for election to a six-year term in 2007.

District 39-3-04 is one of seven magisterial districts in Franklin County.

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