On Monday, January 6, Bucks County Courthouse Courtroom No. 1 was the setting for the investiture of four magisterial district judges and five county row officers. Family members, friends and colleagues looked on as county Prothonotary Patricia L. Bachtle, Sheriff Edward J. Donnelly, District Attorney David W. Heckler, Controller Raymond F. McHugh and Recorder of Deeds Joseph J. Szafran, Jr. recited the oath of office for their respective four-year terms.
The morning also included the investiture of Magisterial District Judges Daniel Baranoski, Joanne V. Kline, Frank W. Peranteau, Sr. and Maggie Snow. During a private swearing in ceremony, the Hon. Albert J. Cepparulo, the Hon. Theodore Fritsch and the Hon. Clyde W. Waite reaffirmed their 10-year reappointment to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.
County Commissioner Chairman Robert G. Loughery congratulated the five row officers who were elected during November, 2013. “This is a special day,” Chairman Loughery noted, adding that the row offices provide “superior services” to more than 625,000 county residents in areas such as public safety, fiscal monitoring of county contracts, the recording of titles, civil matters and the issuing of gun permits and passports.
Ms. Bachtle was first elected prothonotary in 1994. She recited her oath of office to the Hon. Rea B. Boylan before a large family contingent, adding that it was “a dream of mine to have all eight of my grandchildren here. Sometimes dreams do come true.”Ms. Bachtle holds multiple community roles in addition to her county service, including chairperson of the Bucks County Redevelopment Authority.
Sheriff Donnelly was sworn in by the Hon. Wallace H. Bateman, Jr., who observed that Mr. Donnelly has “dedicated his life to public service.” Sheriff Donnelly was appointed to office in 2003 after confirmation by the State Senate. A former captain of the Philadelphia Police Department, he also served as chief of the Lower Southampton Township Police Department. Under Sheriff Donnelly’s direction, the Bucks County Sheriff’s office earned accreditation from the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Committee (PLEAC) during 2013.
Controller Raymond McHugh recited the oath before the Hon. Jeffrey L. Finley. Mr. McHugh has served as controller for the last 13 years, and he helps monitor an annual operating budget of nearly $400 million.
Recorder of Deeds Joseph J. Szafran was sworn in by the Hon. James M. McMaster. Mr. Szafran, a former member of Bensalem Township council, has served as recorder of deeds since May, 2011. He is active in many community and professional organization. During his tenure the Recorder of Deeds office has issued more than 8,000 veterans and active duty discount ID cards. The program currently has more than 1,050 participating business that offer “substantial discounts” to cardholders.