Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Judge candidates Alexa and Pampalone tell qualifications

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By KEVIN NEVERS

In the general election on Nov. 6 Democrat incumbent Judge William Alexa will defend his seat on the bench of Porter Superior Court II against Republican challenger Anthony Pampalone. Early voting begins on Oct. 9.

The Chesterton Tribune invited both to respond to candidate questionnaires.

The Tribune set words limits for each question and reserved the right to edit for length.

(1) Age, place of residence, and education.

Alexa: 71; Union Township; graduate, Valparaiso University School of Law (1973)

Pampalone: 37; Valparaiso; B.S. in public affairs, Indiana University Bloomington (1997), Juris Doctor with Honor, DePaul University College of Law (2001).

(2) To Alexa: Before succeeding to the Porter Superior Court bench, what kind of law did you practice and where did you practice it? (50 words) I served as Deputy and Chief-Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, 1975-78; was elected and served as State Senator, 5th District, 1988-2002; and in 2002 was appointed judge, Porter Superior Court II. From 1978 to 2002 I practiced civil law in Porter County and also served as Valparaiso Plan Commission attorney.

To Pampalone: What kind of law do you practice and where do you practice it? (50 words) I practice both civil and criminal law in courts throughout Northwest Indiana.

(3) To Alexa: How many years have you served on the bench and why are you seeking re-election? Describe your achievements on the bench. (125 words) I was appointed to the bench in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. During my tenure Iíve served on several judicial committees in Indianapolis, participated in the Porter County Community Corrections Committee, and have also been a member and past president of the Porter County Inns of Court. I am currently involved, along with the other five judges, in coordinating the efforts of several different organizations to prevent alcohol and drug abuse in Porter County.

I want to continue to provide Porter County citizens with trusted judgment and a high level of legal service and expertise in the efficient operation of Superior Court II. I also want to continue to promote ethical and civil conduct in our courts and in those who appear before us.

To Pampalone: Why are you seeking election to the bench? Describe your qualifications to serve in the judiciary. (125 words) My commitment to public service. I have served as a member of the Union Township Board from 2003-06 and as the Union Township Trustee from 2007-present. Serving as a county judge would be an honor; and it would allow me to continue my public service on the county level.

I earned a Bachelor of Science in public affairs from Indiana University Bloomington in 1997. I graduated with high distinction having made the Dean's List seven times. I also earned a Juris Doctor from the DePaul University College of Law in 2001. I graduated with honor from DePaul University having made the Dean's List six times. My educational background, legal work experience, and public service record qualifies me to serve in the judiciary.

(4) Differentiate yourself from your opponent and indicate why you believe yourself a better candidate. (75 words)

Alexa: My extensive experience, legal expertise, and community involvement differentiate me from my opponent. I have also served on the Commission on Courts, the Criminal Law Study Commission, and the Indiana State Budget Committee. Locally I served as Valparaiso Park Board president; was a founding member of the Valparaiso Park Foundation; sit on the Opportunity Enterprises Board; and serve on the Porter County Budget and Allocations Committee. I am a U.S. Army veteran and grandfather.

Pampalone: I believe that I represent the future of Porter County, not the past. The time is now for a judicial candidate that has the educational background, legal work experience, and public service record necessary to run an efficient, impartial, and ethical court.

(5) What are the key issues in the race? (75 words)

Alexa: The key issues in this race are who is best qualified to render fair, impartial, knowledgeable, and well reasoned decisions.

Pampalone: The Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct prevents me from answering this question.

(6) What do you consider the most significant threat to the residents of Porter County and does this countyís judiciary have a role in addressing it? (75 words)

Alexa: The most significant criminal threat to our citizens is the use of illegal controlled substances, particularly heroin. The great majority of all criminal cases filed in our courts involves drugs: from possessing or dealing them, to theft, burglary, robbery, and battery to finance drug use. With the entire Porter County judiciary, I am actively involved in prevention efforts. Further, we have established both an adult drug court and a juvenile drug court.

Pampalone: The most significant threat to the residents of Porter County is the drug problem. The judiciary does have a role in addressing it, but the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct prevents me from saying how it should be addressed.

 

 Posted 10/4/2012