History Made: Women now make up half the judges in Luzerne County


WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Two women are sworn in as Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judges.

For the first time in county history, there are now as many women on the bench as there are men.

A bagpipe procession began Wednesday’s historic Luzerne County Judicial Installation Ceremony as
dozens gathered in the courthouse rotunda to watch Stefanie Salavantis and Tarah Toohil get sworn in as judges.

County Judge Thomas F. Burke administered the oath to Salavantis.

The former District Attorney lost her father to COVID earlier this year and remembered him on this special day.

“He’s here with me in spirit I truly believe it. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him,” said Judge Stefanie J. Salavantis, Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.

Superior Court Justice Correale Stevents administered the oath to Toohil.

The state representative is ready to begin her tenure with Salavantis in the Family Court Division.

“It’s a big, big day for myself and my family and I’m just greatly honored to be able to serve our county in this capacity,” said Judge Tarah C. Toohil, Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.

Salavantis and Toohil secured judge seats in the November 2 election.

“We did get a picture of the five of us. It’s the largest complement now of women, that’s half of the judiciary here in Luzerne county, it’s historic,” said Judge Toolhill.

Women now make up half of the judges in the county.

“Luzerne county is really paving the way for other counties, showing that the more equality on the bench is necessary,” said Judge Salavantis.

Salavantis and toohil will be officially seated as judges next week.

They are both serving 10-year terms.

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