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County court system administrator retiring after nearly three decades of service

December 26, 2011

Pat Ellis (left), the Jefferson County Court System administrator, will be retiring at the end of the year, after serving 27 years in various capacities. Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge John H. Foradora is shown sitting with Ellis on the bench in the large courtroom at the Jefferson County Courthouse. (Photo by Larry McGuire/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

BROOKVILLE — The chief administrator for Jefferson County Court system is ready to call it a career when, at the end of the month, after 27 years of serving the county in various capacities, she will retire.

Patricia Ellis, Jefferson County Court System administrator, first worked for District Judge George Miller's office. After that, she worked with adult and juvenile probation.

After the two departments split, she worked for juvenile probation, then as the judicial secretary under Judge Edwin Snyder.

Ellis said she worked for Snyder and Norma Brown, who was the court administrator at that time.

She was also the assistant court administrator. Finally, in 2004, she became the court administrator, a job that entails managing the judge's day.

Ellis also worked with the Mock Trial teams, domestic relations and the three district judges in Punxsy, Brookville and Reynoldsville.

"On a personal note, I just feel very blessed,” she said. “I've been able to work with three great judges, the Jefferson County Bar Association, and in every office, there's the wonderful staff. It's been a great journey, but I feel like I'm leaving another family.”

Ellis said the biggest change over the years has been the addition of computerization, and one of the biggest challenges was when the staff had to move everything to the Enterprise Center in Pine Creek Township — right down to the last paperclip, she said — when the Jefferson County Commission was performing the renovations to the courthouse.

"We had to set up the warehouse to facilitate a large courtroom and office space for everyone — that was a huge challenge," she said. "Judge Foradora had his chambers in the janitor's closet, complete with a sink on the floor and telephone circuits.”

Ellis said she has been proud to serve the majority of her time in the Jefferson County Courthouse.

"It gives me great pride to have people come through the courthouse and (say) you work in a building that people say is one of the most beautiful courthouses around they've seen," she said.

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