EBENSBURG – Cambria County’s drug prosecutor has resigned from his post to accept a position as an assistant in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Johnstown.
Arnold Bernard Jr.’s first day as an assistant U.S. attorney is Monday.
Bernard’s resignation was approved by the Cambria County commissioners during a meeting held Wednesday night at the Cambria County Fire School near Patton.
Bernard joined the Cambria County District Attorney’s Office in March 2017.
Bernard’s hire comes after President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of his intent to nominate Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines to serve as a district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Haines served as the sole prosecutor in the Johnstown branch office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and, once confirmed, will fill the seat previously held by U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson.
Gibson, who assumed senior status in 2016, continued to serve pending the confirmation of his successor.
Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan said, because the Cambria County Drug Task Force often transfers cases to federal court, her office will “continue to work with (Bernard) in his new role.”
Callihan said she’s started to look for Bernard’s replacement.
“I’ve already been interviewing for that position,” she said.
Bernard’s position as chairman of the Cambria County Drug Coalition’s law enforcement committee will also be vacant following his departure, Callihan said, and she will be working to fill that position.
“He did a lot of good work,” Callihan said of Bernard.
“He’ll be missed.”
Bernard said an ongoing decrease in the county’s fatal overdoses is a testament to the progress of the drug coalition, and he’s confident his replacement will continue those efforts.
“I think we’ve taken some major strides, but there’s more work to be done,” he said.