Pittsburgh, PA – March 29, 2019 – Earlier today, Governor Tom Wolf nominated Allegheny County Public Defender Elliot Howsie to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Donna Jo McDaniel.

“I was honored to recommend Elliot Howsie,” said Senator Jay Costa, Jr. “Mr. Howsie has the incredible breadth of work and life experience for this position, and I believe he will be an invaluable addition to the bench. His peers agree, and in addition to my and the Governor’s support, he has the highest recommendation of the Bar Association.

“He possesses the requisite temperament and intellect for the job, and I look forward to his confirmation process in the coming weeks.”

Howsie grew up in Wilkinsburg, and after graduating from Central Catholic High School, Elliot attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in criminal justice. 

As he pursued his master’s degree in criminal justice, Elliot worked in social services teaching decision making and reintegration skills to the children at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.

Elliot went on to serve as an Assistant District Attorney for five years in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, where he focused on prosecuting cases involving child abuse. After leaving the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, he established his own law firm. He worked as a sole practitioner specializing in criminal defense as well as personal injury cases in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. ​

On March 19, 2012, Elliot Howsie was appointed by Allegheny County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, to be Allegheny County’s first African American Chief Public Defender.