Today marked the first day the Butler County jury pool selection process resumed without the participation of the two jury commissioners.
In lieu of the jury commissioners, county court administration conducted the random generation of jury summonses and eligibility questionnaires while being witnessed by independent observers.
A total of 485 jury summons for four pending cases — two civil and two criminal — and 500 questionnaires were generated.
Tom Holman, deputy court administrator, said the goal is to maintain a sufficient number of names for court summonses.
“Our plan is to keep a minimum number of 500 prequalified jurors in the pool,” Holman said.
County President Judge Thomas Doerr on Wednesday appointed Bill Patterson of Mars, a former county commissioner and court administrator, and Joanne Coe of Penn Township, a former administrative assistant to District Judge Kevin O’Donnell, to be volunteer interim jury commissioners.
Patterson, a Republican, and Coe, a Democrat, replace jury commissioners Jon Galante and Clinton Bonetti.
Doerr on Nov. 22 issued a court order removing Galante and Bonetti from the jury selection process, citing a state attorney general’s office investigation as the basis.
The attorney general’s office, Galante and Bonetti aren’t talking about the case, but it appears to be tied to questionnaires simultaneously sent to three county officials and a Connoquenessing Township resident.
Court administration already was slated to assume the jury commissioners’ duties in 2014 because the county commissioners in May abolished the part-time posts effective at the end of this term.