Gina Cerilli, Westmoreland commissioner, joins Pittsburgh law firm
Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli has taken on part-time work as a lawyer with a Pittsburgh firm.
Cerilli is an associate attorney with Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick and Raspanti LLC, a job she started this month.
“I need to start practicing,” said Cerilli, who graduated from law school just prior to winning a 2015 election to serve as a county commissioner. Cerilli passed the Pennsylvania bar exam last year.
In her new position, Cerilli said she will concentrate on business law. The job, she said, will have no impact on her role as chairperson of the county’s board of commissioners.
“They graciously made me an associate knowing I have limited time to devote to the (law) office. Most of my work will be done from home,” Cerilli said.
Cerilli, who was at the courthouse Tuesday and attended several meetings, said she has one active law client.
Commissioners are not required to punch a time clock, nor are they prevented from having second jobs, according to Micah Sims, executive director of Common Cause of Pennsylvania, a government watchdog group based in Harrisburg. Sims said it is not unusual for elected officials, including many in the state Legislature, to hold jobs as lawyers in addition to their positions as state representatives and senators.
“We try to monitor to make sure the work doesn’t conflict with their state duties. As long as their work is not in direct conflict with their duties, we don’t see it as a problem,” Sims said.
Cerilli, a Democrat, earns nearly $81,000 a year as chairperson of the county’s board of commissioners. Commissioners meet in public voting sessions once or twice a month in addition to daily oversight of county operations.
Commissioners Ted Kopas, a Democrat, and Charles Anderson, a Republican, do not have jobs outside their elected positions.
Cerilli said that she’s not sure whether her future career path will focus solely on politics or the law. She said she plans to run for a second term in office next year.
“I can’t tell what the future will bring, but right now I will take advantage of doing both,” Cerilli said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a
Tribune-Review staff writer.
You can contact
Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]