State Reviews Judges' Cases
BobKerlik, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The state agency that oversees Pennsylvania courts said Monday that it is expanding an inquiry into how cases are assigned to judges in Allegheny County.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after the agency said it was reviewing how an administrator transferred the rape case of Tito Rivera from one judge to another at the request of then-Clerk of Courts George Matta.
"The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts has begun its review of the reassignment of the Rivera case. In addition to the specific case assignment under review, the inquiry will include an examination of the procedures used generally to assign cases in Allegheny County," spokesman Stuart Ditzen said.
Common Pleas Judge Kevin G. Sasinoski originally had the case in 2007. Criminal division administrator Helen Lynch transferred the case to President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel after Matta, who is related to the victim, asked to have the case moved in December 2007.
A jury convicted Rivera, 24, of Larimer of breaking into an Oakland apartment, robbing five male college students and raping a woman during the Aug. …