A Monroe County district judge is barred from handling certain duties.
Magistrate District Judge Colleen Mancuso is the wife of the newly elected Monroe County District Attorney Michael Mancuso.
That’s why the court has ruled there’s a conflict of interest.
Now some are calling for her to resign.
The Monroe County Republican Party calling for Magistrate District Judge Colleen Mancuso to resign. The president judge has issued an administrative order that she may no longer process any search warrants, arrest warrants and preliminary arraignments brought before her magisterial district court located in Brodheadsville.
Magistrate District Judge Colleen Mancuso says, "Hoping that the scoop regarding search warrants, arrest warrants and preliminary arraignments that that will be narrowed down and that I still will be able to handle those types of things."
The conflict of interest has been created because Judge Mancuso is the wife of newly elected Monroe County District Attorney Michael Mancuso. Previously she served as judge while he was the First Assistant District Attorney and there were no issues.
Mancuso says, "Never appears before me. He never signs any paperwork that comes before me. I didn't really think that it would cause an issue."
According to the DA, that’s still happening for criminal hearings. And sent us this statement:
"My assistant district attorneys continue to appear before Judge Mancuso weekly. Virtually all defendants and their attorneys are opting to have her continue to preside over these cases. She continues to do the job. It is a shame when political sour grapes result in unwarranted accusations."
The district office hears cases in Chestnuthill, Eldred, Polk and Ross Townships. Now such cases will require a temporary, emergency magisterial judge to be processed.
Monroe County Republican Party Member Thomas Whitehead says, "She’s being paid a six figure salary to do a job that she can longer, a significant portion, which she can no longer do."
The Monroe County Democratic Party Chair sent us this statement:
"The situation involving MDJ Colleen Mancuso is an administrative matter of the court and not a political concern."
Whitehead says, "This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s very clear cut. There’s supposed to be impartiality between the judge and the prosecutor."
The Monroe County Young Democrats, which endorsed both candidates, are standing by their decision.
The Monroe County Young Democrats President Jacob Pride says, "The voters made a conscious choice to elect District Attorney Mike Mancuso and re-elect District Judge Colleen Mancuso so to us this issue has already been litigated. Maybe not literally, but it doesn’t need to be. This preventative measure ensures that there is no conflict and the voters made sure by a landslide that they chose both candidates."
Mancuso says, "I had no challenger in the General Election. I mean I represent the Republicans out here, I represent the Democrats and the Independents."
Judge Mancuso has no intention of resigning in Monroe County.