WILKES-BARRE — Correale Stevens of Hazleton has been a judge for almost 30 years and is now a justice on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
At his own insistence, the swearing in was held at the Luzerne County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon.
Stevens is a native of Hazleton, a former state representative and Luzerne County district attorney.
“I think we will all agree this is a great day for Correale Stevens and the Stevens family. It’s also a great day and I think you will agree with me for Luzerne County and the bench and bars of Luzerne County,” said Hon. Jack Panella of Pennsylvania’s Supereior Court.
Judges and justices from across the Commonwealth joined the state attorney general, attorneys, legislators and friends and family at the special ceremony.
The state lieutenant governor was also there.
“I want to thank you, Cory, for your career of commitment and understanding that the first best duty of government is public safety and for your strong commitment to realizing that the rule of law must reign supreme in our great Commonwealth,” said Lt. Governor Jim Cawley.
Stevens was appointed to the justice position left vacant by former Justice Joan Orie Melvin.
She was convicted of using public employees to help political campaigns.
Melvin resigned her position in May.
Stevens said he will fill the position for the next two and a half years and he said he will do his very best.
“At the end of two and a half years if you can look back and you can say, ‘He was diligent, he was fair, he was impartial,’ then I will have earned your respect and the people of Pennsylvania will have been properly served,” said Hon. Stevens.
Stevens will serve through January of 2016.
His salary is just over $193,000 a year.
As for Joan Orie Melvin, she is appealing her convictions.