Letters to the Editor

Dutchcot’s influence will remain

We appreciate Judge Leslie Dutchcot’s service to our community during the 6 1/2 years she served as our magisterial district judge. She was an active member of the Patton Township Business Association and was awarded our PTBA Excellence Award for Community Service in 2011.

For several years, Dutchcot and Judge Jonathan Grine were our celebrity volunteers and helped raise money for Camp Cadet during our annual Patton Township Children’s Safety Fair. (We have held the event during the fall for the past 14 years.) They helped us raise thousands of dollars through the dunk tank. Dutchcot also volunteered many hours as a counselor at Camp Cadet.

I am currently presiding in an $860,000 FINRA Arbitration case, so I understand the challenges of managing a courtroom. Dutchcot did it well. When Charlie Faris, recipient of the 2007 PTBA Excellence Award for Community Service, found himself in Dutchcot’s courtroom for “failure to obey the speed limit,” he told our association he was very impressed with her professionalism and courtesy.

I was privileged to attend the wedding of John Suit and Cathy Balmaceda in Dutchcot’s courtroom on Feb. 14, 2014. She performed a ceremony that was as beautiful and as well-done as many ceremonies performed by our local pastors. She made the day very special for the bride and groom.

We wish Judge Dutchcot much success in the future. She was a positive influence in our community — one we will feel for many years to come.

David Panko, Patton Township

David Panko is president of the Patton Township Business Association.