By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
SUNBURY — A longtime Northumberland County assistant district attorney is making the switch from prosecuting criminals to defending them.
Melissa Norton will leave the DA’s office and join the public defenders’ office effective Monday.
“We believe she is the most qualified person in the district attorney’s office,” county Commissioner Vinny Clausi said. “We are happy to have her in the public defenders’ office. I will guarantee you that District Attorney Tony Rosini will miss her.”
Norton will replace public defender Michael Romance, who took early retirement for health reasons, Clausi said.
Northumberland County conflicts counsel Michael Seward will take over for Norton in the district attorney’s office, Clausi said.
Rosini’s office has been operating with four assistants since the county salary board eliminated a position in 2012.
Norton is the second person from the office to switch positions in the county. Former ADA John Muncer was furloughed and later hired by the county commissioners as an assistant solicitor after the untimely death of James J. Rosini.
Norton has more than 24 years of experience in the district attorney’s office and has one year of experience as a public defender, Clausi said.
She will retain her salary of $65,772 as a public defender, and Seward will retain his salary of $64,482, Clausi said.
Seward’s position needs to be filled Clausi said.
“We are in a search right now,” he said. “Anyone interested should contact the commissioners’ office.”