Donna Smargiassi Case Study

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Judge Laura Turlip 400 Church St. 2nd Floor, Archbald, Pa. 18403 (570) 876-0570 was advised of the identity of Investigator Sean P. Brennan and of the confidential nature and purpose of the interview, Turlip, provided the following information:

Turlip worked as in private practice from 2000 until 2005 when she ran for judge. She took office in January 2006 and was reelected in 2012 and her term run until 2018.

Turlip recalled the Donna Smargiassi case. She knew Donna and her sister and parents from the area just like she knows Lili Vioncek-Clark and her family. Clark and Turlip have been friends for approximately 5 years. Turlip’s significate other went to high school with Clark. He has been
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Turlip told her where to go and then Clark started to tell her what happened but Turlip told her she didn’t want to know the details because she wasn’t allowed and it would get her in trouble. Turlip told her to see the ADA when she went to the courtroom. Clark never mentioned it again.

When the case came before Turlip, she disclosed to both ADA Brian Gallagher and defense attorney Terri Pawelski that she knew both parties involved in the case. Turlip also knew Pawelski’s sister pretty well and the rest of her family. Turlip knew Smargiassi had some mental issues and when she appeared before her Turlip told her she was sorry to see her under those circumstances. Turlip didn’t feel that she should recuse herself otherwise she would have to do that over 60 to 70% of the time because she knows a lot of people from her area. Turlip indicated that she can be impartial when it comes to the law.

Turlip said there are 3 attorneys that are totally disrespectful and to her and Pawelski is one of them. She is very unprofessional and it seemed like she had a chip on her shoulder for one reason or another. Turlip knows Pawelski practices in Philadelphia and she felt a little sorry for her because she had to drive up to Lackawanna County because that’s what Pawelski told her, but Turlip said she didn’t have to act the way she did in her courtroom. Turlip almost made a complaint herself to the D Board about

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