Mayor Michael A. Nutter presented official greetings and City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., emcee and Majority Leader, provided the introduction at the Cityâ€™s inauguration of Controller Alan Butkovitz, District Attorney R. Seth Williams and more than 20 judges of the Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court in Philadelphia today at the Academy of Music in Center City.
The ceremony is part of the Cityâ€™s formal inaugural that traditionally takes place in January following the general elections held in the fall.
â€œThe women and men who were sworn in to office today represent an impressive group of elected officials committed to city government and judicial service,â€ said the Mayor. â€œCongratulations to District Attorney Seth Williams, City Controller Alan Butkovitz, and all of the incumbent and newly elected judges of the Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court, as they embark on the next chapter of service to the citizens of Philadelphia. I know they willÂ work with city government, our partners at the State and Federal level, and the Cityâ€™s many communities to improve the quality of life and address critical law enforcement, financial and judicial issues for the City of Philadelphia.â€
Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark I. Bernstein (1st Judicial Dist. of Pennsylvania) formally administered the oath of office to Butkovitz, who is now serving his third term. Butkovitzâ€™s brother Edward and his wife Theresa also took part in the ceremonies. Court of Common Pleas Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi inducted Williams, who is now serving his second term. Williams is the first African American DA in the Cityâ€™s modern history. Williams was joined by his children Taylor and Hope Williams and State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams (D-W. Phila.), who is no relation.
Administering the formal oaths of office for all of the Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court judges was the Hon. Ronald D. Castille, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and former District Attorney of Philadelphia. Chief Justice Castille presided over the inductions for the following:
Court of Common Pleas Newly Elected Judges: The Hon. Anne Marie Bridget Coyle, Timika Lane, Joe Fernandes, Daniel D. McCaffery, Giovanni Campbell, Sierra Thomas and J. Scott Oâ€™Keefe.
Court of Common Pleas Retention Judges: The Hon. Remy I. Djerassi, Lori A. Dumas, Holly J. Ford. Joel S. Johnson, Frederica A. Massiah-Jackson, Jeffery P. Minehart, Paula A. Patrick, Allan L.Tereshko and Nina Wright Padilla.
Municipal Court Newly Elected Judges: The Hon. T. Francis Shields, Henry Lewandowski III and Martin S. Coleman.
Municipal Court Retention Judges: the Hon. Teresa Carr Deni, Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde and Joseph J. Oâ€™Neill.
In addition to the induction ceremony, some highlights of the event were spiritual blessings delivered by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput (who delivered the invocation), Bishop Rev. Marshall Mitchell of Salem Baptist Church (who delivered a prayer) and the Rev. Terrence Griffith of 1st African Baptist Church (who delivered
The Philadelphia Boys Choir performed the National Anthem and Franz Schubertâ€™s operatic classic â€œAve Mariaâ€, and the Philadelphia Fire & Police Honor Guard provided the ceremonial Presentation of Colors.