Governor Corbett to Nominate William Ward to Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas; Names Stephen Aichele as Chief of Staff

24 May, 2012, 14:40 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today announced that he will nominate current chief of staff William F. Ward to a vacancy on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

Ward, 60, of Mt. Lebanon, Allegheny County, will depart his present post after serving 16 months as the governor's top aide. In addition to fulfilling a longstanding career goal to serve in a judicial post, the change reunites Ward with his wife and family in Pittsburgh.

"For as long as I've known Bill, it's been his dream to be a judge," Corbett said. "I'm happy to help make that dream happen, both for Bill and for the citizens who will benefit from his knowledge and integrity."

The governor described Ward as "a trusted friend and advisor for more than 30 years."

"My current role in government has been both professionally challenging and personally rewarding," Ward said today. "A position serving on the bench in Allegheny County will allow me to be reunited with my family in Pittsburgh while continuing to serve the Commonwealth."

Ward is a former federal and state prosecutor who served as First Deputy to then-Attorney General Corbett in the mid 1990s.

Ward had been a Merit Selection Finalist for a 2000 vacancy on the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County and a year later he was a Merit Selection Finalist for an opening on the U.S. District Court bench in Pittsburgh.

In both 1994 and 2002, he was a Merit Selection Finalist to fill a vacancy for United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

He is an honors graduate of The College of the Holy Cross and Temple University School of Law.

Ward began his legal career as a law clerk to United States District Judge Louis C. Bechtle in Philadelphia. Two years later, then-Attorney General Griffin Bell appointed him Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He later was promoted to chief of the office's Economic Crimes Section.

In 1996, Corbett appointed Ward to be First Deputy Attorney General. The following year, Gov. Tom Ridge named Ward as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, a cabinet-level position. He resumed his legal career in Pittsburgh in 2003 until Gov. Corbett appointed him to serve as Chief of Staff.

Ward and his wife, Joan, are parents of two children.

Pending confirmation by the state Senate, Ward will serve as a special advisor to the governor.

Corbett said that current General Counsel Stephen Aichele will replace Ward as his chief of staff effective Tuesday, May 29.

For more information about Governor Corbett and his administration, visit

Media contact:  Kevin Harley, 717-783-1116

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor