A standing-room-only crowd of people who have known Maria L. Dantos since she was born, since she became a lawyer and one of Lehigh County's most successful prosecutors, and every stage in between, gathered Friday to wish her a collective "Kali epitihia" as the county's newest judge.
Translated from the Greek, it means "Much success."
' induction ceremony before a crowd of more than 200, people who worked with Dantos, opposed her
in court, learned from her
, and admired her
humanity, compassion and devotion to family and justice stood and clapped loudly as she
place on the bench.
Current and former judges, lawmakers, lawyers and staff members of court-related offices joined family and friends of Dantos
, campaign workers and crime victims and their families in Courtroom 2A, whose walls are adorned with pictures of retired judges and cracked, faded portraits of judges long past.
Many superlatives were used to describe Dantos
.She was called a tireless fighter, a selfless mentor to young lawyers, an experienced coach to police and a mother who always had time for her children even with a rigorous, pressure-filled work schedule.Dantos, 46, of Lower Macungie Township, is a former public defender who was hired as an assistant district attorney in 1989 and named first assistant district attorney in 2001.She
successfully prosecuted numerous homicide cases that resulted in sentences of death and life in prison.Dantos
, a Republican, was nominated by Gov.
That term expires the first Monday in January, but Dantos
is running for a full 10-year term in the November election.
Because of Wallitsch's opening and the upcoming retirement of two county judges, voters will choose three new judges in the fall, bringing the number to 10.Dantos
was the top vote-getter on both Republican and Democratic ballots in the May primary election.Receiving a total of 19,671 votes, she
was 3,691 votes ahead of her
On Friday, Dantos
right hand and pledged to uphold the U.S. and state constitutions as her
children, Michael, 12, and Evangelena, 9, held a Bible.