Longtime Prosecutor Cites Broad-Based Legal Experience; Commitment to Safer Communities; Record of Protecting Families and Upholding Our Constitutional Rights
LEHIGH COUNTY – Patricia Fuentes Mulqueen today announced her candidacy for judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Lehigh County. With over 20 years of broad-based experience as an attorney and prosecutor in Lehigh and Northampton counties, Mulqueen pledged to continue her work protecting local families and the constitutional rights of all citizens as judge.
“As a full-time Assistant District Attorney for the last 16 years – including nine years as Chief of Violent Crimes – I have worked hard to provide victims of crime and their families with a strong voice to ensure they receive the justice they deserve,” Mulqueen said. “That is why I will be a tough, but fair, judge who follows the law to protect Lehigh County residents while ensuring everyone who comes before me will be heard and treated with dignity and respect.”
An experienced and accomplished attorney for over two decades, Mulqueen has worked in and out of the courtroom – and before scores of juries – in areas of the law that will be heard by our next judge. Her experience also includes appearances before both the Pennsylvania Superior Court and Pennsylvania Supreme Court. During her tenure, she has become known for maintaining the highest legal and ethical standards.
“I am a tough prosecutor, but I am also mindful of the solemn responsibility I have to ensure that the accused receive a fair trial,” Mulqueen said. “I have helped people charged with a crime by truly listening and ensuring those in need receive help for drug addiction or mental health issues.”
Mulqueen met her husband, Matthew, while attending Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (now DeSales University). As Matthew started his career in the Army, the couple moved to Ft. Gordon in Augusta, Georgia where they were married. Despite the constant moving because of Matthew’s military assignments, Mulqueen was determined to finish her bachelor’s degree and gain acceptance into law school.
“As I only had two years of college when we were married, it was my goal to earn my bachelor’s degree despite the constant moves, which meant attending schools in Georgia, South Korea, New York and ultimately, in Honolulu, Hawaii where I graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science,” Mulqueen said.
Mulqueen went on to graduate and earn her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1998, and she was admitted to practice law that year in Arizona. She worked for the Cochise County Public Defender’s office for over two years where her duties included an emphasis on juvenile appeals.
Following Matthew’s active duty military career, the couple moved back to the Lehigh Valley with their three children in 2004. Mulqueen was admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania that year and was hired as a Lehigh County Assistant District Attorney by District Attorney James B. Martin. During her tenure, she successfully prosecuted domestic violence, aggravated assault, and robbery cases.
“People who know me know I am passionate about seeking justice,” said Mulqueen. “I have stood in front of juries and stared down murderers, drug dealers and other violent criminals as a prosecutor. I have spent my legal career tirelessly fighting for what is right and protecting the constitutional rights of all citizens. This is the kind of experience I will bring to the bench.”
Mulqueen has worked for the last 13 years as a Northampton County Assistant District Attorney where she currently serves as Chief Deputy District Attorney. She leads the Violent Crime Unit and has served as Chief of the Drug Unit. She has successfully prosecuted murderers, kidnappers, drug dealers and other dangerous criminals. Her top priority is to always ensure justice for victims and their families in these difficult cases.
No one fights harder to protect the interests of victims and families. “I work side-by-side with our police to put criminals behind bars, and I’ve spent time with the victims of crime assisting them and supporting them as they work to rebuild their lives,” Mulqueen said. “I am committed to always protecting local families and keeping our communities safe. I believe this is exactly the type of experience Lehigh County needs now more than ever.”
As the youngest of ten children, family is especially important to Patricia. Her parents, Lino and Engracia Fuentes (née Rivera) were born and raised in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico. They, along with her two oldest sisters, moved to Doylestown, Bucks County, where her father worked as a dishwasher, caretaker and cook to provide for their growing family. Eventually, he became a chef and worked full-time until he retired in his 80s. Patricia’s work ethic comes from her parents, who worked hard to provide her and her siblings with a great education and wonderful opportunities.
Along with having the legal experience and ethical reputation that is paramount for any judge, Mulqueen has pledged to run an efficient courtroom for the taxpayers of our county.
“I understand that county taxpayers want a court that is mindful of their hard-earned tax dollars, especially during the pandemic when many are struggling. I am committed to running an efficient and effective courtroom that helps control costs and avoids frustrating delays,” said Mulqueen.
Mulqueen is a member of the Lehigh County and Northampton County Bar Associations and serves on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board in Northampton County. She is committed to education and has taught or lectured on aspects of criminal procedure and constitutional law at DeSales University, University of Maryland University College in Belgium, and Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
Mulqueen and her husband of 35 years, Matthew, live in South Whitehall Township. They have three adult children, Andrew, Alexander, and Julia, and two grandchildren. She is an active member of St. Joseph the Worker Church in Orefield, and she has served as Chairperson of the Advisory Board for Catholic Charities and participated in mission trips to Haiti to assist Missionaries of the Poor.
The 2021 election will include three judicial vacancies. Mulqueen is a Republican who will cross-file for both the Republican and Democrat nominations for this non-partisan position. The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 18th, 2021.
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