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By RICK BOSTON
Staff Writer 

Blair County Acting D.A. Announces Candidacy for Full Term

 

February 4, 2021

Provided

Pete Weeks

When Blair County District Attorney Rich Consiglio retired last April, First Assistant District Attorney Pete Weeks was named to replace him. Last Week, Weeks announced his intention to seek the office in his own right.

Weeks, 41, is a 2005 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He has been with the District Attorney's office since 2007, becoming a first assistant in 2018.

Weeks announced his candidacy on Jan. 26 at the U.S. Hotel and Tavern in Hollidaysburg and because of COVID-19 restrictions, the event was closed to the public but livestreamed on the "Pete Weeks for District Attorney" Facebook page.

In the lead-up to formally announcing his candidacy, Week's paid tribute to his predecessor Consiglio, saying he "leaves behind a legacy of mentoring attorneys to value a victim-first approach to prosecution." He credited both Consiglio and now Judge Jackie Bernard, a former assistant district attorney, with helping shape him as a prosecutor.

"I was privileged to spend the last 13 years learning under Attorney Consiglio and Attorney Jackie A. Bernard." Weeks said. "The lessons they imparted to me have formed the foundation of who I am as a prosecutor. I come before you today requesting your support and vote in my request to remain your District Attorney."

Weeks said he wants to continue the legacy left by Consiglio to fight the onslaught of drugs as well as protecting victim's rights.

"In keeping with the legacies of my predecessors, if elected as district attorney, my office will continue to emphasize victim-driven prosecution and aggressive drug enforcement," he said.

Weeks said Blair County is "plagued" with high numbers of gun and drug crimes, sexual assaults, and child abuse, which he said have a higher rate of reoccurrence if left unchecked.

"As your district attorney, my office is the last line of protection between a criminal and our community," he said.

Weeks said it is important for the district attorney to work closely with the police and to support them by "aggressively" prosecuting criminals and that failing to hold criminals accountable comes with a high price tag.

"Community safety depends on whether the district attorney is willing to support the hard work of police by aggressively prosecuting criminals," he said. "While certain cases call for clemency and compassion, I believe there are crimes that demand unflinching, unwavering action. That kind of awareness comes only with experience that I have developed over the 14 years as a prosecutor in the Blair County District Attorney's Office."

Weeks said that during his tenure as acting district attorney, he has implemented several changes designed to improve the office's ability to prosecute cases and proactively target problems in the community. Weeks said he was able to make Blair the first county in Pennsylvania to engage the software company Karpal Solutions to replace outdated case management files and fully digitize criminal files.

Weeks said he negotiated a favorable rate of $70,000 for the software at no cost to county taxpayers.

"I arranged funding through alternative avenues in the DA's office rather than the county budget," he said.

Weeks also highlighted his educational initiative for students which includes prosecutors and front-line law enforcement officers going into schools for age-appropriate talks to educate children on drug abuse, human trafficking, social media pitfalls and other dangers kids may face.

Weeks said he wants to build on what he has started in the DA's office.

"There is more work to be done and more advancements to implement," he said. "However, in order to have the opportunity to achieve that, I need the support of this community."

 

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