The Boyertown Area Times

Assistant district attorney running for Berks judge

- By Mike Urban murban@readingeag­

With a two-decade law career in both private and public practice, Berks County Assistant District Attorney Justin Bodor is now seeking election as a county judge.

Bodor, a Democrat from Oley Township, will cross-file to appear on both the Republican and Democratic ballots in the May primary election.

He said he brings to the table 20 years of impactful experience in the legal profession, which includes more than 12 years as an assistant district attorney, and working as a public defender and in private practice.

That diverse background has uniquely prepared him to carry out the duties of a Berks County Court of Common Pleas judge, he said.

“As an assistant district attorney, I have worked in the courtroom on a daily basis for more than a decade handling an expansive and diverse caseload,” said Bodor, 42. “From drug treatment court to criminal cases, the cases I handle have been complex and consequent­ial with direct impacts on the lives of the people of Berks County.”

For instance, he said, for the last ten years he has represente­d the DA’s office in the Berks County

Drug Treatment Court Program.

“That responsibi­lity includes identifyin­g people involved in the criminal justice system due to addiction and mental health issues,” he said. “Working with judges, defense attorneys, probation officers, and treatment profession­als, we endeavor to hold offenders accountabl­e for crimes while also providing them with the structure and treatment to break the cycle of addiction.

“I understand the important role judges play in our legal system because I am in the courtroom almost everyday.”

Working hand-in-hand with DA John T. Adams and his fellow prosecutor­s and law enforcemen­t officers, he said, they strive to represent the best interests of the citizens of Reading and Berks County.

“The district attorney demands that his prosecutor­s and investigat­ive team work hard,” he said. “I will bring that same work ethic to the bench, if I have the honor and privilege of being elected judge.

“A judge needs to be fair, firm, and impartial. My training and courtroom experience, I believe, provide me with the temperamen­t and mindset to be that kind of judge.”

Bodor said his motivation to serve Berks as a judge stemmed from his maternal grandparen­ts, who emigrated with his mother in the 1950s from Austria driven by the desire to live in a country founded on the ideals of freedom, justice and equality.

“They instilled in me the value of honesty, integrity, and the importance of serving others — giving back to your community,” he said. “I have always believed that public service is one of the best ways to do just that.”

Bodor said he frequently has served in leadership roles in organizati­ons and causes that improve the legal profession, give deserving individual­s a chance at rebuilding their lives and otherwise improve communitie­s.

He is active with the Berks County Bar Associatio­n, serving as president in 2021, and previously served as a board member of the Reading Public Library, and on the boards of community organizati­ons such as Berks Connection­s Pretrial Services and Treatment Access

and Services Center. Additional­ly, he is a member of Berks SOS (Stop Overdoses, Save Lives), where he works with other profession­als and community leaders to fight the opioid epidemic here.

He is also a longtime instructor at the Reading Municipal Police Academy, teaching Berks’ next generation of law enforcemen­t officers criminal law and the rules of criminal procedure.

“It is easy to say that you think community service is important, but I believe it is important to put your words into action,” he said. “That is what I have attempted to do. … I want to help make Berks County a better place for my family, friends, neighbors, and fellow community members to live, work, and thrive.”

A lifelong Berks resident, Bodor was raised in Colebrookd­ale Township. He graduated from Boyertown High School, and was a Eugene Shirk Scholar at Albright College, where he graduated with honors. He then attended and graduated from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law, during which time he completed an internship with a justice on the Pennsylvan­ia Supreme Court.

He lives with his wife, Jessica, and their two children.

 ?? ?? Justin Bodor
Justin Bodor

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