PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – John Morganelli is perhaps the least-known of the Democrats running for state attorney general, but he says his resume is the strongest.
“I’m a career prosecutor. I’ve prosecuted 25 murder cases to verdict myself. I’m a courtroom lawyer,” Morganelli said.
Morganelli, the Northampton County District Attorney for 25 years, said his courtroom experience beats that of fellow District Attorney Stephen Zappala.
“Steve is a figurehead here in Pittsburgh more than anything. He’s an administrator, which is fine, runs a large office, but I have hands on experience as a prosecutor,” Morganelli said.
But, Morganelli reserves his strongest criticism for Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro.
“Josh Shapiro, well, he’s never been in a court house. I always joke about that. At least Steve is a D.A., but Josh has no criminal law experience, no civil law experience. He’s never been a public defender. He’s never been a prosecutor. You know, he wants to be the head of surgery, and he’s never performed an operation,” Morganelli said.
Morganelli insists a good attorney general must be a prosecutor.
“About 75 percent of what the Attorney General’s Office does and their jurisdiction is criminal law jurisdiction,” he said.
After Kathleen Kane, he said the office needs experience at the helm.
“This office is in really deep trouble right now with the incumbent. It’s in shambles because morale is low. And you cannot replace Kathleen Kane with someone who has less experience than she does, and that’s Josh Shapiro,” Morganelli said.
Shapiro suggests that Morganelli is carrying water for Zappala.
“John Morganelli spends his time attacking me, and most of the time praising Steve. In fact, we were at a recent forum where he said, ‘If you can’t vote for me, at least vote for Steve.’ I think that makes people wonder what’s really going on here,” Shapiro said.
Morganelli doesn’t deny a friendship with Zappala, but said it’s Shapiro’s desire to change the Attorney General’s Office that ticks him off.
“What Josh wants to do is remake it into some mushy social agency that goes out there for various causes, which have nothing to do with the job. That’s why I’m critical of Josh because he wants to remake it in his own image,” Morganelli said.
Democrats will choose their nominee on April 26.