Pleasant Hills district judge goes on leave
Boyle permitted to take vacation
Wednesday, October 05, 2005By Mike Bucsko,
Pleasant Hills District Judge Mary Grace Boyle has been permitted to
take a vacation until the end of the month instead of a 30-day suspension
originally contemplated by her superiors in Allegheny County Common Pleas
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Saturday that Judge Boyle was
suspended for 30 days by President Judge Joseph James. However, Judge
James issued a statement yesterday through Court Administrator Ray
Billotte that said Judge Boyle has not been suspended, but is "currently
on an approved vacation leave."
There was no further explanation about the events that resulted in
Judge Boyle's absence. Mr. Billotte declined yesterday to comment and
Judge James has not returned repeated telephone calls.
On Thursday, Judge James ordered her to report to his office Friday
afternoon. During Friday's meeting, she was told to take a month off
voluntarily, which she refused to do. Judge James then told her she had no
choice and would be suspended. No written order was issued, though, and
Judge James apparently relented sometime after the meeting and allowed
Judge Boyle to take the month off as vacation. She's scheduled to return
to work on Oct. 31.
Shortly after Judge Boyle left her Pleasant Hills office on Friday
afternoon, county locksmiths arrived to change all the locks at her
office. McKeesport District Judge Thomas Brletic was summoned by Judge
James to hear the remainder of Judge Boyle's cases Friday.
Senior District Judge Edward Burnett, whose office was in Glassport
before he retired last year, will preside over her cases in her absence.
For the past two days, Nancy Galvach, who oversees the county's minor
judiciary courts in the court administrator's office, has been at Judge
Boyle's office poring over records with the help of a county court
Judge James in July ordered two of the three office workers from Judge
Boyle's office transferred to other locations because she had refused to
talk to them since shortly after the May primary election. The silent
treatment began after she learned the workers had talked to an
investigator from the state Judicial Conduct Board.
Judge Boyle is under investigation by the board for reportedly using
her office and staff for her primary election campaign this spring. Judge
Boyle, 55, won the primary over two opponents and will seek a fifth,
six-year term in November.