Governor Rendell Names Judge Mary Digiacomo Colins As Final Member of Gaming Control Board
Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Is First Woman Appointed to Board
HARRISBURG: Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced the appointment of the Honorable Mary DiGiacomo Colins to a one-year term on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. DiGiacomo Colins, the first woman named to the board and the last of three gubernatorial appointees among its seven members, was elected to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in 1989 after being hired by
Rendell as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia in 1985.
“I’ve known Mary for years and respect her not only as a fair-minded judge with the expertise needed to round out this Board, but as a quality individual of impeccable character,” said Governor Rendell. “As a member of my team in the District Attorney’s Office, Mary served in the Economic Crimes Unit, which gave her invaluable experience in identifying and weeding out fraudulent companies, and people.”
DiGiacomo Colins has more than 30 years’ experience in the legal profession. She was an Assistant District Attorney from 1985-1989, serving as the Assistant Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit. She earned a Master’s degree in Labor Law from Temple University Law School in 1980 after graduating from Law School there in 1974. With more than a decade of service as a judge, she also brings extensive experience conducting hearings and judicial review of administrative agencies.
“Judge DiGiacomo Colins will not only serve as the only woman on the Board, but also the only person with experience from the bench, literally judging each person before her, an expertise that is crucially important as the Board considers applicants for licenses and revocation of licenses,” said Governor
Rendell. “She also brings a decade and a half of experience in writing opinions, findings of facts and conclusions of law – a skill that the board must possess because its decisions may be reviewed by the courts.”
“This appointment is exciting on many levels,” said DiGiacomo Colins. “Building an industry from the ground up will pose a challenge that I am pleased to have the opportunity to take on at this point in my career. I am also gratified that my professional experience as a judge gives me an opportunity to contribute knowledge and expertise that will help the full Board and ultimately the citizens of Pennsylvania.”
The Gaming Control Board will oversee all licensing and operations of the state’s gaming venues. It will:
· Issue, deny, renew, revoke or suspend licenses and permits.
· Enforce the Commonwealth’s gaming law.
· Develop and implement an affirmative action plan.
· Ensure that slot machines are properly inspected and certified.
· Require that anyone under 21 years of age not be permitted to use slot machines.
· Ensure that the Department of Revenue and Pennsylvania State Police use their full enforcement powers to protect our citizens.
· Conduct open proceedings in accordance with Pennsylvania law.
The Pennsylvania State Police, with the assistance of the Attorney General, will conduct extensive background checks on any person investing in, managing or being employed in any of the gaming facilities. Judge DiGiacomo Colins will resign from the bench immediately after the completion of the background check and will become a full-time member of the board.
As with other board nominees, DiGiacomo Colins’s appointment is subject to completion of a successful State Police background check.