Keystone College will host newly appointed Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas Judge and Keystone graduate the Honorable Frank J. Ruggiero during the college’s annual Constitution Day program on Thursday, September 14 at 12:45 p.m. in Evans Hall, Hibbard Campus Center. The event, sponsored by the Keystone College Juvenile Justice Institute, is free of charge and open to the public as part of Keystone’s Community Forum series.
The Judge Ruggiero theme for Judge Ruggiero’s address will be: “The Origins and Purpose of the Bill of Rights.” He will also discuss the judicial branch of government and the United States Constitution.
“We are truly honored to host Judge Ruggiero at our annual Constitution Day program,” said Keystone Professor and event organizer Jeff Brauer. “In addition to being a proud Keystone alumnus, Judge Ruggiero has distinguished himself in Northeastern Pennsylvania as an attorney and valued public servant. We look forward to his many years of service on the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas.”
A native of Carbondale, Judge Ruggiero graduated from Sacred Heart High School and earned an associate of arts degree in human services from Keystone in 1991 and a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Penn State University in 1993.
He obtained his juris doctorate degree from the City University of New York at Queens College and began his career in the Brooklyn and Queen’s District Attorney Offices. He then served as law clerk to the Honorable Chester T. Harhut of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas and worked for the Lackawanna County Public Defender’s Office representing indigent criminal defendants in matters ranging from summary offenses to the highest-grade felonies, including homicide.
While serving as a public defender, he entered private practice, concentrating on litigation pertaining to family, criminal, insurance, and municipal law. He was also general counsel for a Reciprocal Insurance Exchange which insures hundreds of governmental entities across Pennsylvania and served as solicitor to numerous municipalities.
On June 16, Gov. Josh Shapiro nominated him to the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County and on June 30, 2023, was unanimously confirmed by the state Senate by a 50-0 vote.
Judge Ruggiero has served in Pennsylvania National Guard and is active in national, statewide, and local associations and has earned national and state honors for his legal and public service. He is also active in several charitable organizations across the region.
Constitution Day is a federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is normally observed on September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia. When Constitution Day falls on a weekend or on another holiday, schools and other institutions observe the holiday on an adjacent weekday.