Attorney Charity Grimm-Krupa is seeking the Democratic and Republican nominations for magisterial district judge in the Masontown area.
An attorney in private practice and former deputy public defender, Grimm-Krupa said the office is important because all criminal cases are started at that level. Her legal education and courtroom experience provide her with the necessary knowledge and experience, she said.
Grimm-Krupa said she will carry a long-held passion for justice, fairness and the law to the bench.
“A magisterial district judge is supposed to be neutral and detached,” said Grimm-Krupa, “not pro-prosecution or pro-defense. A magistrate is supposed to make an educated decision on the law.”
She said part of why Fayette County Court is overloaded is that nearly all cases are held over by magistrates. That, she said, is a sign that the lower courts are not functioning properly.
Defending clients in district court, Grimm-Krupa said she’s found that judges more frequently continue cases for prosecutors than for defendants.
“That’s not a sign of a neutral and detached magistrate,” she said. Further, she said, district judges sometimes seem to have information about cases that they wouldn’t have unless they communicated with prosecutors in advance. Such communication is unfair, she noted.
Grimm-Krupa emphasized that she has no ties to local politics, and has no political debts which would influence her judicial service.
“I want to make a difference to the people in my community,” she said.
After graduating from Albert Gallatin High School in 1998, she attended Pennsylvania State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in history in 2002. She graduated from West Virginia College of Law in 2005, and served as a law clerk for Fayette County Judge Steve P. Leskinen.
Grimm-Krupa said she comes from a family with a strong military tradition. Her father, Gene Grimm, is a deputy prosecutor in the county and a U.S. Army veteran. Her brother Joshua A. Grimm is a former Army Ranger officer and currently serves as a Special Forces linguist in the Army National Guard. A second brother, Major Joseph I. Grimm, is a lawyer serving with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, U.S. Marine Corps.
She and her husband Brian J. Krupa reside in Springhill Township with their three children, Madelyn, Wyatt and Cody. They raise quarter-horses and Scottish Highlander Cattle.
The magisterial district covers Fairchance, Masontown, Point Marion and Smithfield, and Georges, German, Nicholson, and Springhill townships.