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Common Pleas Court judge assignments changing

Common Pleas Court judge assignments are being changed due to conflict of interest between criminal court defendants and newly elected Judge Maura Palumbi, a former assistant public defender.

President Judge S. Michael Yeager recently ordered the changes, which are being gradually implemented.

Palumbi was assigned to criminal court after she was elected this year, but she is being moved to family court due to conflicts of interest with criminal defendants stemming from her work as an assistant public defender. She worked as an assistant public defender from 2016 until her election.

Before she was elected to a 10-year-term, Palumbi was appointed to the position by Gov. Josh Shapiro. The position was open due to the retirement of Judge William Shaffer in January 2022. Shaffer, who served in criminal court, now serves as a senior judge.

Judge Joseph Kubit is being transferred to criminal court to replace Palumbi. Kubit will join judges Timothy McCune and Kelley Streib as criminal court judges. Kubit was elected in 2021 to a 10-year term to replace Judge Thomas Doerr, who did not run for reelection. Beginning next year, Streib will be transferred to civil court.

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