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Allegheny County Judge Resigns After Removals Over Alleged Bias

Judge Donna Jo McDaniel will step down next year

December 14, 2018 - 10:09 am

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Donna Jo McDaniel has resigned after she was removed from two cases.

The state Superior Court removed McDaniel from two sex offenders’ sentencing in the past month, saying she showed bias against the defendants, their counsel and the Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office.

In her resignation letter, 72-year-old McDaniel said she is most proud of her role in establishing the specialty courts of domestic violence and sex offender court.

“I have strived to lead my courtroom in a judicial style that empowers victims of domestic and sexual abuse, while maintaining the rights of the accused,” she wrote.

McDaniel is well known for her advocacy for survivors of sexual assault, but has been rebuked by the Superior Court for that it called a pattern of over sentencing sex offenders in recent years.

McDaniel will end her 33-year tenure at the end of January.

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