Longtime Harrisburg Magisterial District Judge Marsha Stewart dies at age 65

MDJ Marsha C. Stewart

HARRISBURG — Marsha Stewart, a former Harrisburg District Judge who served in the Dauphin County Court system from 1993 to 2016, has died.

Stewart, 65, retired at the end of 2016 and was succeeded by District Judge David O’Leary. She was elected to office in 1993 after her husband, Michael, was removed from the post after he was accused of ethics violations ranging from accepting gifts to taking a loan from a constable. Marsha Stewart replaced him amid accusations that he was targeted for his race.

Marsha Stewart was also the subject of controversy.

In 2015, she was accused of nepotism for employing her husband as a constable during a lawsuit brought by another constable alleging she refused to pay $9,000 in fees to him and the other constables who served her. President Judge Richard Lewis issued an order directing her to stop employing her husband.

Current Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Richard A. Lewis offered this statement on Stewart’s passing:

“Judge Stewart’s death is a sad loss for our legal community. She was a caring and compassionate jurist, sincerely dedicated to bettering the community and the lives of its citizens. Judge Stewart capably handled one of the largest caseloads in our county’s magisterial system and we are deeply grateful for her fine service.”