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New judges sworn in on Allegheny County Common Pleas Court

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Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Hugh Fitzpatrick McGough takes the oath of office for Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge at the City County Building, Downtown on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.
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Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Kris Rust robes his husband, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Hugh Fitzpatrick McGough, at his swearing in ceremony at the City County Building, Downtown on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.
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Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Hugh Fitzpatrick McGough reacts as his brother, W. Thomas McGough, Jr., speaks at his oath of office ceremony for Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas at the City County Building, Downtown on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.
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Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media
Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Hugh Fitzpatrick McGough speaks at his swearing in ceremony at the City County Building, Downtown on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015.

Three new judges who joined the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas this month, and a slew of reassignments, will bring new faces to three of the four divisions of the court in the new year.

Newly elected Judges Jennifer Staley McCrady, Dan Regan and Hugh McGough were sworn in during the past week and will be assigned to the court’s Family Division, the traditional starting point for new Common Pleas judges in Allegheny County.

“(My father) was a larger-than-life character from another era, but I can carry on his legacy of public service … a legacy of helping people,” Regan said at his swearing-in ceremony Wednesday morning. Several speakers at the event referred to his father, the late Bernard “Baldy” Regan, a North Side city councilman and district judge. The son is a former assistant district attorney and Pittsburgh city solicitor.

“I’d never envisioned myself on the bench. … Who knew this would be a nine-year project?” McGough said. His journey to the court included stints in journalism, numerous campaigns for the bench over nearly a decade and election to be the magisterial district judge for Squirrel Hill in 2012.

McCrady, formerly supervising attorney and program and policy coordinator for KidsVoice, which represents children in Family Court and the juvenile justice system, was sworn in Dec. 23.

The three new judges will replace Family Division judges who will be transferred to other divisions or take a reduced workload, President Judge Jeffrey A. Manning said.

They are:

• Alexander P. Bicket, who will transfer to criminal division to handle the “Phoenix court,” a specialty court for repeat offenders with minor crimes.

• Kathleen R. Mulligan, who just became a “senior” judge and can only be paid to hear cases 10 days per month — though Manning noted some senior judges will work extra days without pay.

• Arnold I. Klein, who will transfer to the Civil Division. Civil Judge Paul F. Lutty, Jr. is taking senior status.

• William F. Ward, who is retiring from family division.

In the criminal division, the retirement of Senior Judge Robert C. Gallo will leave Judge Thomas E. Flaherty and Senior Judge Lester A. Nauhaus to handle summary appeals — appeals of minor fines and tickets — and the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first-time offenders, Manning said.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or [email protected].

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