By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PRESTO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Stephen A. Zappala Sr. passed away on Friday.
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“I was saddened by the death of former Chief Justice Stephen A. Zappala Sr. His distinguished legal career and interest in public service benefited our community. He was an advocate for the county Improvement Agency (AIM) before joining the Court of Common Pleas and then the PA Supreme Court before assuming the role of Chief Justice, “said Rich Fitzgerald, county executive, in a statement. “His dedication to the community service attorney is reflected in his son, our District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. Our heartfelt condolences to the District Attorney and the entire Zappala family for their loss.”
Former Chief Justice Stephen A. Zappala Sr. was 88 years old, according to an obituary.
He joined the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas for the first time in 1979 and moved briefly to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In 2001 he was appointed Chief Justice of the State’s Supreme Court.
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He was also the father of Allegheny District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.
The Allegheny County Prosecutor’s Office issued the following statement:
“Chief Justice Zappala was an exemplary civil servant, a lawyer giant, and a staunch leader of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Many of his opinions from the bank still guide the work of lawyers and courts to this day. His death is primarily a tremendous and irreplaceable loss to the District Attorney and the entire Zappala family, as well as a loss to Allegheny Counties and citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. “
Zappala Sr.’s service in this country was not just legal – he also served in the U.S. Army before being honorably discharged.
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Visits and a memorial service will take place later this week.