Thursday, November 16, 2017

Judge O'Neill Appointed to New Post Overseeing Specialty Courts

The Montgomery County judge who oversees Drug Treatment Court has been appointed to fill a newly-created administrative post on the 23-member bench.
Judge Steven T. O'Neill/Submitted Photo

Judge Steven T. O’Neill was appointed as the administrative judge of treatment courts, an announcement made this week when President Judge Thomas M. DelRicci unveiled judicial assignments for the period Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2019.

“Judge O’Neill will supervise all of our specialty courts,” DelRicci said. “That’s a brand new administrative position.”

Those specialty courts include Drug Treatment Court, Behavioral Health Court and Veterans’ Treatment Court.
President Judge Thomas M. DelRicci/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.

“That work that we’re doing has just gotten too large and it’s very complex because you’re dealing with not only the Department of Probation and Parole and the service agencies that assist us in providing for the needs of those people in those programs, but there’s also a lot of grant applications and things like that that have to be taken care of,” DelRicci explained.


“It’s a huge job and to throw that under the role of the administrative judge of the Criminal Division means that the person just doesn’t have time to do both, so I split that up,” added DelRicci, explaining the rationale behind the creation of the new administrative post.

O’Neill previously was the administrative judge for the Criminal Division. But Judge Thomas C. Branca will officially move into that position come January.

O’Neill was appointed to the county bench in April 2002 by then Governor Mark S. Schweiker and was sworn in on July 29, 2002, as a county judge, according to his biography. O’Neill was then elected to a 10-year term in 2004 and was retained for another 10-year term in 2014.
Judge O'Neill/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.



O’Neill, a 1975 graduate of Drexel University who received his law degree from Villanova University in 1978, has been assigned to the criminal division since 2007. Additionally, O’Neill launched the drug treatment court and has overseen its operation for 11 years.





DelRicci, who was installed as president judge in January and who was retained during the Nov. 7 election for another 10-year term on the bench, announced other judicial assignments this week.

Judge Carolyn T. Carluccio was appointed to be the new administrative judge for the Family Court Division.

Judge Lois E. Murphy will remain as the administrative judge of the Orphans’ Court Division while Judge Thomas P. Rogers will remain the administrative judge of the Civil Court Division, which he has helmed for the last year. Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy will remain administrative judge of the Juvenile Court Division, according to DelRicci.


Judge Cheryl L. Austin will helm Veterans’ Treatment Court, which previously was overseen by Judge Todd D. Eisenberg. Established in April 2011, the Veterans’ Treatment Court addresses the needs of veterans cycling through the court and prison system.


Judge Gary S. Silow will continue to oversee Behavioral Health Court, which was established in 2009 and addresses the needs of people with serious mental health problems who are progressing through the court and prison systems.

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