By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item
SUNBURY — Assistant District Attorney Ann Targonski made history today when she was sworn in as the first woman to hold the office of Northumberland County district attorney.
And she was glad to accept the honor.
“I am proud of that and I look forward to the day when a woman district attorney isn’t news, but just that a district attorney is.”
Former District Attorney, now Judge Tony Rosini swore Targonski in and said he was proud she was taking his old spot.
“I am proud of Ann and I believe she will do a great job. I am happy leaving the office in her hands.”
Targonski, who will pick up a huge caseload, will now be the lead prosecutor on three murder trials set to take place by as early as 2015.
Northumberland County joins Montour County in having a female district attorney as Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren was elected to the seat in 2011.
Tagonski will take over the Miranda and Elytte Barbour case that gained global attention when the newlywed couple was charged by Sunbury police with killing Troy LaFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton, for the thrill of it.
Targonski will also be prosecuting Robert Thomas of Turbot Township for the 2012 murder of his wife, Patricia Thomas, after police said he shot his wife and then told police he was fighting off an intruder and shot Patricia Thomas by accident.
Tagonski, who was raised in Pennsville, New Jersey, is no stranger to the law as she is a graduate of Marywood University, in Scranton, and the JD Dickinson School of Law, in Carlisle.
Targonski was the First Hearing Officer for the county where she heard support and custody matters.
Targonski served as solicitor for the Area Agency on Aging 18 years and solicitor for the Coal Township Board of Commissioners for four years.
The experienced prosecutor also served as solicitor the Shamokin Zoning Board for eight years.
Targonski has her own practice in Shamokin for the past 25 years.
Before entering the district attorney’s office in 1992, Targonski served as a part time public defender for two years.
Targonski became full time in the district attorney’s office in 2008.
The new district attorney was specially trained to represent the Commonwealth in sexual assault and child abuse cases and has been doing so since 2000.
“This is an honor and I will do the best job I can do,” Targonski said.
“I look forward to getting started.”
Northumberland County Commissioner Vinny Clausi was optimistic Targonski and commissioners would work together, he said.
“She called me and we spoke,” Clausi said.
“I want to wish her well and I look forward to working with her for the good of the county.”
Targonski would not comment on whether or not she would seek the seat that would be up for grabs in 2015.