A working relationship with police, prosecutors, court staff and defense attorneys developed over 19 years as a county public defender is what Kevin Flaherty said makes him qualified to be the next magisterial district judge in Cranberry Township.
Flaherty, who has served as the county's chief public defender for the last 13 years, is running for district judge in District Court 50-3-04. The court is in the township and serves the township and Seven Fields borough.
Incumbent David Kovach is not running for reelection.
A Cranberry Township resident, Flaherty said he will cross-file to run on the Republican and Democratic ballots in the spring primary. The office has a six-year term.
He said he had developed a good relationship with township police and district court staff as a result of representing clients in cases at the court for 19 years.
“During that time, I built up a very good rapport with the police department. I feel very confident that I'm going to enjoy widespread support from the police in Cranberry Township and staff,” Flaherty said.
He said he also has working relationships with other defense attorneys and the county District Attorney's Office.
In the 33 years he has been an attorney, Flaherty said he has worked as a public defender and assistant district attorney in Allegheny County, an adjunct professor at the Duquesne University School of Law and in private practice. He said he also worked as a judicial law clerk in Allegheny County.
During his career, he said he has tried numerous cases involving charges ranging from summaries to those in which the death penalty was a possible sentence.
He said working as the county's chief public defender has given him administrative experience. He said he is responsible for administrative duties for the entire staff.
He said he wants to bring all of his experience and relationships to bear as district judge.
“I can come in day one and do a good job. It's very important to hit the ground running. It's not the kind of job you want to learn on the job,” Flaherty said.
Flaherty said he is from Ohio, but spent most of his life in Allegheny County before moving to the township 19 years ago. He said he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh before graduating from the Duquesne University School of Law.
Flaherty said he and Patty, his wife of 23 years, have five children and five grandchildren.