MEDIA COURTHOUSE — Delaware County District Attorney-Elect Jack Stollsteimer has reportedly fired 11 current prosecutors within the last two days, amounting to about 23 percent  of the present staff of 47.

“I’m the new district attorney, elected to make some changes in the office, and we’re going through that process now,” said Stollsteimer Wednesday. “Change may be a little bit unsettling for some people, but we’re making sure we have the best team ready to start in January when I get sworn in.”

Sources said Wednesday that those who have been asked not to return Jan. 6 are Senior Deputy District Attorney Daniel McDevitt; deputy district attorneys Sharon McKenna, John F.X. Reilly and George Dawson; and assistant district attorneys Matt DeNucci, Ryan Grace, Bill Judge, Kim Riley, Mary Mann, and Bill Toal.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Lawrie will be able to stay on until April, according to one source, while Assistant District Attorney Michael Mattson did not put his name up for consideration to return.

Stollsteimer previously announced that Chester City Chief of Police James E. Nolan IV will be heading the Criminal Investigation Division and former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Tanner Rouse will serve as First Assistant District Attorney.

There were seven positions unfilled at the time of the firings, according to one current employee, which puts the office down about 40 percent total. They added that Common Pleas Court Judge Dominic Pileggi is also expected to move from civil to criminal in the New Year, requiring two or three more ADAs to handle his cases.

The employee said morale among the majority remains stable, but there is some apprehension. They noted the percentage of firings so far is higher than when Larry Krasner took over at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office two years ago and fired 31 staff members in his first week, or about 10 percent of that office.

“We’re at the beginning of a process,” Stollsteimer said. “We’re meeting with all the staff and those discussions will continue to take place over the next days and weeks. We’re going to be talking to and with all the staff in the days to come and find out who wants to stay and who’s moving on, and who’s in the right place and who’s not.”

One of those fired said Wednesday that they were “shocked” by the move, but acknowledged Stollsteimer is “soon to be the boss” and that it is his call to make.

Stollsteimer was apprehensive to discuss personnel matters in too much detail, but indicated this was the “first piece” in an ongoing process that includes bringing on new hires.

“That’s the nature of having a new district attorney come in and that’s what I’m proceeding to do,” said Stollsteimer. “It’s a lot of work to take over an office, so we’re going to be very thoughtful and very thorough, and give everybody a fair hearing.”

Stollsteimer made history in November by becoming the first Democrat elected to the office in the county’s history. He defeated Republican incumbent Katayoun Copeland, who was appointed in January 2018 to serve out the remainder of former District Attorney Jack Whelan’s term when he was elected to the Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

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