Performs administrative duties in the criminal and civil justice systems and assists other officers of the court as well as judges and lawyers. Maintains court records, administers oaths to witnesses and jurors, and authenticates copies of the court's orders and judgments with the court's seal. Term of office: 4 years
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Juris Doctor – JD;
Lancaster Bible College Capital Seminary & Graduate School
Bachelor's Degree – BS: Biblical Studies
-Attorney, Villanova law graduate admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar
-Extensive Regulatory Compliance auditing and project management experience
Carmela has decades long private sector experience and accomplishments in regulatory compliance. She developed and implemented complex regulatory compliant Electronic Record Keeping systems which tracked more than 80,000 regulatory events annually. Carmela performed regulatory and quality audits domestically and abroad. These experiences along with her Juris Doctor degree and Pennsylvania Bar Admission position Carmela as the best candidate to serve Chester County.
Carmela will ensure timely and accurate entry of the county’s 6,000 annual criminal court filings drawing from her decades long private sector experience. Further she will increase transparency & accountability through her knowledge of Quality Management Systems, Audit Procedures & Accounting Principles.
B.A Hamilton College;
M.A. University of Delaware
Incumbent successfully doing the job for the past 4 years
Answer: My main experience is being the incumbent and having done the job very effectively for the past 4 years. I also bring my business banking background and my skills as a leader who is organized, detail-oriented and process-driven to make government work for residents.
The office cannot and does not provide legal advice. We process criminal legal paperwork and money. While that may sound dull to some – I love it! Being able to identify waste and inefficiency, and then implement improvements, excites me, and motivates me to come to work every day.
I am successful as the Clerk of Courts because I treat this position as a full-time job. I show up, I listen to the team members who often have decades of experience, and I build relationships internally to collaborate in making positive change. While I have made great strides, there is still more to do.
The Clerk of Courts processes criminal legal paperwork and money based on complex state and local rules that are subject to continual change, so the primary challenge is staying on top of all these various services to ensure accuracy and efficiency. For example, not long after I was elected, I was struggling to find where new fees associated with changes in legislation were actually going. After many weeks of hunting through the books, I ultimately found the money—in the wrong place—which meant these funds were not benefitting the taxpayers of Chester County. Over $8 million comes through the Clerk of Courts office every year, and tracking that flow of money is a critical aspect of the job, especially when those fees change based on new legislation.
Under my leadership, every one of the 28 team members reviews every process on a regular basis and documents exactly how each process is done so that I can manage the duties of the office efficiently. Doing so, we were able to uncover things being done inefficiently, incorrectly, or not at all. I also modernized the office to make these functions easier for everyone, internal and external. For example, I successfully implemented an electronic filing system. Lawyers can now file any time, from anywhere, and can also access all documents online, saving them a trip to the office. This technology not only saves time and money for lawyers and their clients, it also saves the taxpayers money. E-filing also increases access to justice.
I am glad to have initiated these basic but critical procedures to solve the primary challenge of the office and to streamline management going forward.
One of my proudest achievements was to successfully implement an electronic filing system. Lawyers can now file any time, from anywhere, and can also access all documents online, saving them a trip to my office. This technology not only saves time and money for lawyers and their clients, it also saves YOU, the taxpayer, money.