Hearing set for Southern Berkshire District Court justice post

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PITTSFIELD -- The Governor's Council has scheduled a hearing early next month in Boston to consider the nomination of a Pittsfield attorney for an associate justice position at Southern Berkshire District Court.

Michael J. McCarthy, a former Pittsfield city solicitor and assistant district attorney in Berkshire County, was re-nominated by Gov. Deval L. Patrick last week.

McCarthy's original nomination to the judge's post in Great Barrington was quashed in September. The Governor's Council failed to confirm him after a 3-3 vote.

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, who could have broken the tie, was out of the country on a trade mission and not available to cast a deciding vote.

This year, the eight-member Governor's Council, which reviews and confirms gubernatorial nominations for the court among other duties, has four new members as a result of the November election.

The council will meet on McCarthy's nomination Feb. 6 at 12:30 p.m. in Boston. Following a hearing on a nomination, the council normally announces its decision one week later.

McCarthy is an attorney with George, DeGregorio, Massimiano & McCarthy in Pittsfield. He currently is serving on the city's Charter Review Study Committee.

The district court position would fill a vacancy created with the retirement of Judge James B. McElroy. Judge Fredric D. Rutberg in Central Berkshire District Court is serving as acting judge for Southern Berkshire District Court until the vacancy is filled.

Michael J. Albano of Longmeadow, who now represents the Western Massachusetts District 8 on the council, was elected on Nov. 6 and has said he will support McCarthy's nomination.


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