Risa Vetri Ferman
Risa Vetri Ferman
Risa Vetri Ferman
|Judge of Court of Common Pleas in Montgomery County|
|Assumed office |
January 5, 2016
April 5, 1965
Philadelphia, United States
|Parents||Barbara and Sal Vetri|
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania|
Widener University School of Law
Risa Vetri Ferman (born April 5, 1965) is judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Montgomery County, and was formerly District Attorney of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Before winning election as the county's prosecutor, Ferman worked for 15 years in the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. In November 2007, she became the first woman elected District Attorney in Montgomery County. In 2011, Ferman won re-election and began her second term as District Attorney in January 2012. She is the daughter of Barbara and Sal Vetri, and sister of restaurateur Marc Vetri and television director and producer Adam Vetri.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Service as District Attorney
- 3 Politics
- 4 Author and Speaker
- 5 Awards
- 6 Personal life
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Youth and Education
Risa Vetri Ferman was born in Philadelphia and raised in Abington Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of Barbara and Sal Vetri. In her early life, Ferman worked for her father’s jewelry store, Crown Jewels and Dazzles, which operated with 35 storefronts and mall kiosks across Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey for 30 years.
She graduated from Abington Senior High School in 1983 and attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, graduating in 1987. After enrolling in the evening program at Widener University School of Law in 1990, she interned for the United States Attorney’s Office in 1991. Ferman graduated from Widener University School of Law in 1992 with a Juris Doctorate and was admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 1992. She was admitted to practice before the U.S District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 2006, and the United States Supreme Court in 2000. In 1993, Ferman began working as a prosecutor for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Early Legal Career
Ferman began work as a prosecutor in 1993 and rose to Captain of Sex Crime and the Child Abuse. She has specialized in the prosecution of homicide, child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence cases. In 2002, Ferman was selected to serve as First Assistant District Attorney, second in command to then District Attorney Bruce Castor Jr. In this position, Ferman supervised the county detective bureau and oversaw all homicide cases. In November 2007, Ferman ran for District Attorney of Montgomery County.
2007 Montgomery County District Attorney Election
In 2007, Ferman ran as a Republican candidate for the District Attorneys seat against Democrat Peter C. Amuso Ferman won the election and received the highest vote count of any candidate on the ballot in 2007. She was elected in November 2007 as the first female District Attorney of Montgomery County and assumed office January 2008.
Service as District Attorney
Protecting the Vulnerable
In 2008, Ferman established an Elder Abuse Unit and Taskforce to support seniors targeted by criminals. Ferman supervises the Elder Abuse Task Force, a multifaceted force of law enforcement agencies as well as the county's Aging and Adult Services. Ferman established the Elder Justice Roundtable in 2013 after further development with the Elder Abuse Unit and Taskforce.
In 2009, Ferman co-founded the Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Mission Kids is a 501(c)(3) corporation, founded through a collaborative effort with the Police Chiefs of Association of Montgomery County, and the Montgomery County Office of Children and Youth. Ferman is a member of the Mission Kids Executive Board (as Past President)
Ferman is co-founder of the Montgomery County Child Advocacy Program (MCAP) as a board member. MCAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides free legal representation to children who are victims of abuse in Montgomery County. Ferman introduced the School Safety Committee as a primary source for County schools regarding safety. The committee consists of a variety of individual units such as school superintendents, public safety officials and law enforcement personnel. Ferman is an avid supporter of the Montgomery County Youth Aid Panel Program (YAP), a restorative justice initiative for juveniles in the criminal justice system. Ferman created the Teen Driving Safety Program which includes a Teen Driving Safety Documentary, through partnership with the WPVI Channel 6 ABC and a corresponding Teen Driving Safety Curriculum
In 2012, Ferman convened Montgomery County’s first Cyber Bullying and Bullying Task Force. Come 2013, Ferman, along with Montgomery County Commission Chair Josh Shapiro, former Montgomery County Sheriff Eileen Behr, Montgomery County Schools and Intermediate Unit, and the Police Chiefs Association of Montgomery County, announced the creation and release of the first Cyber Bullying/Bullying Taskforce Manual in the country
Ferman and Montgomery County Chief Public Defender Keir Bradford-Grey coordinated their efforts to protect youths in Montgomery County through a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Southeastern, Pennsylvania to create the "Back on Track program In 2014, Ferman and Montgomery County Sheriff Russell Bono brought the Teen Suicide Prevention Program to Montgomery County in collaboration with John Halligan, Founder of Ryan’s Story.
Service to the Community
Ferman established the Detectives Violent Crime Unit to assist in investigations regarding brutal crime. She encourages the use of the District Attorney’s Office DUI and Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first time, non-violent offenders to highlight rehabilitative services. In addition, Ferman supports diversionary programs within Montgomery County such as Veteran’s Treatment Court, Drug Treatment Court and Behavioral Health Court.
In April 2013, Ferman established the Montgomery County Prescription Drug Disposal Program which places safe receptacles for the public to safely dispose of their old or unwanted prescription drugs. Ferman spread awareness about Teen Prescription Drug Abuse through her involvement with the McIntyre Family and the death of their son Ronald "Ronnie" Powell III as a result of prescription drug overdose. The District Attorney's Office has maintained a 98% conviction rate.
In October 2014, Ferman brought the Courthouse Comfort Dog Program to the Montgomery County Courthouse with the addition of "K9 Turks" to serve victims and witnesses through distressing situations in the courthouse.
Law Enforcement Leader
In July 2015, Ferman was elected as the first female President of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association (PDAA). She is chair of the PDAA Best Practice Committee and a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA). She is a member of the Joint State Government Commissions Advisory Committee on Wrongful Convictions.
Ferman was nominated to Chair of the Criminal Procedural Rules Committee of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2010, and began as a member in 2006. She is a member of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Institute and helped to bring Wheels of Justice bicycling team, a non-profit charitable organization that supports Law Enforcement related charities to Southeast Pennsylvania. In addition, Ferman brought the Fallen Hero Plaque Program to Montgomery County through collaboration with local law enforcement and founder of the program, James Binns Esquire.
In 2011 Ferman was re-elected for a second term as District Attorney of Montgomery County. As a result of her prolific fundraising (raising around $237,000) rumors arose that she was running for Pennsylvania Attorney General, however, she remained at her District Attorney post. Philadelphia Magazine profiled Ferman in 2011 as a result of her success as District Attorney with regard to her position on politics and types of crime rising throughout Montgomery County.
As of January 2015, Ferman decided to leave her position as District Attorney and run for a seat on the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas Court as Judge in Montgomery County.
In August 2015, DA Ferman charged Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane for her alleged involvement in the leaking of confidential investigative information to a newspaper and for her subsequent attempts to cover up these actions. Following the leak, a grand jury investigated and recommended the arrest and filing of criminal charges against Kane for felony perjury and multiple misdemeanors nine months prior to her being charged. However, Ferman launched her own independent criminal investigation into the allegations against Kane. Ultimately DA Ferman concluded that it was appropriate to file criminal charges against the Attorney General. Kane's criminal trial for felony charges of perjury and obstruction began on August 8, 2016. On August 15, she was convicted on all nine counts.
Author and Speaker
Ferman appeared on Dateline NBC in April, 2009. In November 2011, Ferman was featured as an honored guest speaker at the Widener Symposium on Child Abuse, "Lessons from Tragedy: Legal, Professional, and Ethical Issues Raised by Bradley and Beyond". In 2012, Ferman was featured at the Penn State Abington campus of Penn State University as the Spring Commencement Speaker
Ferman is a featured author for the Widener Law Review of Widener University of Law, her review is titled, "Lessons from Tragedy: Bridging the Gap between Public Expectations and Legal Standards through an Evaluation of Criminal Investigations and Subsequent Charging Decisions". Ferman is also a blogger for The Huffington Post
Ferman authored and published the children’s book "The Mouse Who Went Surfing Alone". All profits from sales of the book go to Mission Kids. The book is intended for young children and teachers as a teaching tool about internet safety. Thanks to a donation from the Verizon Foundation to Mission Kids, each child usually receives a copy to take home and discuss with his/her parents.
- 2014 "Take The Lead" Award from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania
- 2013 Lewis Hine Award from the National Child Labor Committee
- 2013 Aspen Rodel Fellowship for Public Leadership
- 2012 Alan Lerner Child Advocacy Award from the University of Pennsylvania Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice and Research
- 2012 L'Oreal Paris Woman of Worth National Honoree
- 2012 Ivy Young Willis Award by Cabrini College
- 2010 Outstanding Service Award from the National Children's Advocacy Center
- 2010 Women of Distinction by the Legal Intelligencer
- 2008 Widener Alumna of the Year by Widener University School of Law
- Citizens Crime Commission of Delaware Valley
- Montgomery County Laurel House
- Victim's Services Center of Montgomery County
- Montgomery County Women's Center
- Montgomery County Commission on Women and Families]
Ferman is married to husband, Michael, and has three children. Her mother, Barbara Vetri, was a lawyer specializing in real estate and family law. In 1994, her father Sal Vetri sold his jewelry chain, Crown Jewel. Her brother, Marc Vetri, James Beard Outstanding Chef nominee, is the founder of famous Philadelphia restaurants such as Vetri and Osteria and founder of the Vetri Foundation which supports healthy food and active lifestyles in schools. The youngest of the Vetri family is Adam Vetri, producer of reality shows such as "The Biggest Loser" and received the 2016 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Direction in the Reality Programs category for the show "Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge" and 2015 nominee in the same category 
- Mentors: Honorable Risa Vetri Ferman. Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program, Inc. Retrieved: January 20th, 2015.
- Parks, J. (April 27, 2013). "Vetri, Ferman talk of foundations, family". Philadelphia Magazine.
- District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.
- Nichols, R. (2010, February 14). "This Vetri cooks, too". Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Hessler, C., Jr. (2015, January 12, 2015). "Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman will not seek a third term, announces intent to run for county judge seat". Montgomery Media.
- Lester, P. (November 7, 2007). "First assistant leads in Montco district attorney race". The Morning Call.
- Office Structure. (n.d.). Montgomery County's District Attorney's Office website.
- Elder Access to Justice Roundtable. (n.d.).
- Phucas, K. (July 6, 2009). "D.A. Unit Targets Elder Abuse". The Mercury News. (Pottsdown Mercury).
- Montgomery County - Elder Abuse Hotline. Senior Directory (n.d.).
- Hessler, C., Jr. (March 2, 2008). "Montco starts elder abuse prevention unit". The Mercury News. (Pottsdown Mercury).
- Mongtomery County District Attorneys Office. (August 13, 2014). 2013 Annual Report.
- About Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center. (n.d.).
- Board of Directors. (n.d.). Association of Prosecuting Attorneys website.
- Montgomery County Child Advocacy Program. (n.d.). Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office website.
- Board Members. (n.d.). Montgomery Child Advocacy Project website.
- About Montgomery County Child Advocacy Program. (n.d.). Montgomery County Child Advocacy Program website.
- School Safety Committee. (n.d.). Montgomery County District Attorney's Office website.
- Hessler, C., Jr. (May 17, 2009). "D.A. Cites Accomplishments". The Mercury News. (Pottsdown Mercury).
- Youth Aid Panel Program. (n.d.). Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office website. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- Keeping Kids Safe. Montgomery County District Attorney's Office. (n.d.).
- Hessler, C., Jr. (May 17, 2009). "Montco D.A. Ferman reflects on first year". The Mercury News. (Pottsdown Mercury).
- Fernandez, J. (May 10, 2012). "LM sophomores and Montco officials discuss drunk driving death". Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Hessler, C., Jr. (2010, March 18). "Montco D.A. urges teens to make good choices". Montgomery County's District Attorney's Office. (n.d.).
- Anti-Violence & Bullying Prevention. Montgomery County District Attorney's Office. (n.d.).
- District Attorney Ferman, Along With County Commission Chair Josh Shapiro, Sheriff Eileen Behr. Press release.
- Montgomery County Public Defender, District Attorney Announce New Program for Delinquent Youth in Partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA. Press release. (June 24, 2014).
- District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Sheriff Russell Bono Partner with Local Schools to Tackle Youth Bullying, Cyber Bullying, and Teen Suicide Prevention. Montgomery County District Attorney's Office. (September 10, 2014). Press release.
- Brandt, E. (December 4, 2014). "Montco Violent Crime Unit to help with Pottstown shooting investigation". The Mercury News. (Pottsdown Mercury).
- DA Prescription Drug Disposal Program. Montgomery County District Attorney's Office. (n.d.).
- Phucas, K. (March 27, 2010). "D.A.: To fight abuse, police the medicine cabinet". The Mercury News. (Pottsdown Mercury).
- Phucas, K. (April 18, 2010). "Mother describes losing son to prescription drug abuse". Mainline Media News.
- Hunter, W. (October 3, 2014). "Montgomery County’s New Courthouse Dog To Help Comfort, Support Victims And Witnesses". CBS Philly Newsgroup post.
- . (July 14, 2015). Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association.
- PDAA Launches Best Practices Committee. (October 20, 2014). Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association.
- Report of the Advisory Committee on Wrongful Convictions, September 2011.
- Hessler, C., Jr. (February 22, 2010). "Montco D.A. Ferman to chair Pa. rules committee". The Mercury News. (Pottsdown Mercury).
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Appointment. Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. (June 5, 2006). Press release.
- Wheels of Justice. (n.d.). Wheels of Justice Montgomery County Pennsylvania website.
- DeHuff, J. (July 30, 2011). "Wheels of Justice takes a turn for charity". The Mercury News. (Pottsdown Mercury).
- District Attorney's Fallen Hero Plaque Program. (n.d.). Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.
- Roebuck, J. (May 16, 2011). "Montco D.A. Ferman's funds raise talk of run for Pa. attorney general". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Vetri Ferman, R., Esq. (2011, December 29). Q&A: Risa Vetri Ferman (Interview by R.Rhys: Transcript). Philadelphia Magazine.
- Parks, J. (January 8, 2015). "Montco D.A. Ferman to run for County Court judge". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
- McCoy, C. R., Couloumbis, A., & Roebuck, J. (2015, August 8). Montco D.A. charges Attorney General Kane. Retrieved from Philadelphia Inquirer website: http://articles.philly.com/2015-08-08/news/65322521_1_attorney-general-kane-ernie-preate-jr-top-law-enforcement-officer
- Parks, J. (2015, June 18). Kane case still big question for Ferman. Retrieved from Philadelphia Inquirer website: http://articles.philly.com/2015-06-18/news/63528622_1_kane-case-top-prosecutor-attorney-general-kathleen-g
- Bumstead, B. (2015, August 24). Judge holds Pa. AG Kane for trial on 1 felony, 7 misdemeanors. Retrieved from Trib Total Media website: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/8891532-74/attorney-kane-general#axzz3jlTzLiy7
- Esack, S., & Kraus, S. (2015, August 24). Stage set for Kathleen Kane trial.Retrieved from The Morning Call website: http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-p-pa-kathleen-kane-accuser-in-court-peifer-2-20150824-story.html
- Associated Press (August 7, 2016). "Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane Begins Trial Monday: 'This Isn't the End of the Game'". theblaze.com. TheBlaze. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press (August 7, 2016). "Term about over, Pennsylvania's top prosecutor goes on trial". abc27.com. WHTM-TV. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- "AG Kathleen Kane found guilty in perjury case". 6abc.com. 2016-08-15. Archived from the original on 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-08-16.
- Vetri Ferman, R., (April 15, 2009). DA Risa Vetri Ferman Appears on Dateline NBC: Part 1. Video file.
- Vetri Ferman, R., (April 15, 2009). DA Risa Vetri Ferman Appears on Dateline NBC: Part 2. Video file.
- Web editor (November 8, 2011). "Widener Law Review Symposium Looks at Legal, Ethical, and Medical Issues Raised by Earl Bradley Tragedy". Widener University School of Law. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "Penn State announces spring 2014 commencement events and speakers". (April 7, 2014). Pennsylvania State University.
- Vetri Ferman, R., Esq. (2013). Lessons From Tragedy: Bridging the Gap Between Public Expectations and Legal Standards Through an Evaluation of Criminal Investigations and Subsequent Charging Decisions. (Review). Widener University School of Law; Widener Law Review, 19(193). Retrieved from Lexis Nexis Academic database.
- Entries by Risa Ferman (Newsgroup posts). The Huffington Post.
- Internet Safety: Pre-K & 1st Grade. (n.d.). Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.
- "Philadelphia Past Honorees. (2014)". Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014.
- The National Child Labor Committee. (January 28, 2013). Lewis Hine Awards 2013.
- Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship Class of 2013 Archived 2015-02-13 at the Wayback Machine. The Aspen Institute.
- Upenn Field Center. (March 2013). Field of Dreams Luncheon Honors Montgomery County DA Risa Vetri Ferman. News from the Field.
- Heffintrayer, K. (December 7, 2012). "Risa Ferman Wins National 'Women of Worth' Honors". (Newsgroup post). The Pottstown Patch.
- "L'Oreal Paris Celebrates its Seventh Annual Women of Worth Awards and Announces National Honoree, Risa Vetri Ferman". (Newsgroup post). PR Newswire (December 7, 2012).
- DDc Works Agency Press. (December 10, 2010). "Risa Vetri Ferman Selected as L’Oréal Paris’ Seventh Annual Women of Worth National Honoree". Press release.
- "Montco DA Risa Vetri Ferman to Receive Public Affairs Award from Cabrini College". (March 12, 2012). Cabrini College.
- Phucas, K. (March 22, 2010). "Ferman Wins National Award for Mission Kids". Times Herald News.
- The Legal Intelligencer. (April 20, 2010). Women in the Profession: Women of Distinction 2010.
- "Widener Law announces 2008 alumni awards". Widener Law News and Events. Widener University School of Law. September 17, 2008. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012.
- Mowry, A. (April 23, 2014). "Interview with Outstanding Chef Award Nominee Marc Vetri". James Beard Foundation.
- Vetri Foundation website.
- MoviePictures.org. (n.d.). Vetri, Adam Biography. MoviePictures.org
- TV News Desk. (January 16, 2015). "CMT's STEVE AUSTIN'S BROKEN SKULL CHALLENGE Picks Up DGA Nomination". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Risa Vetri Ferman.|
- Montgomery County District Attorney's Office Website
- Risa Vetri Ferman Official page
- The Vetri Family Website
- Risa Vetri Ferman on IMDb
- Montgomery County Prescription Drug Disposal Program
- Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center
- Montgomery County Child Advocacy Program
- Childrens Advocacy Center of Austin, Texas
- Elder Access to Justice Roundtable
- Montgomery County Youth Aid Panel (YAP)
- Back on Track
- Cyber Bullying and Bullying Task Force
- the Mind of the Prosecutor: How to Play Well in the Sandbox with Your DA Instead of Getting Sand Kicked in Your Face
- Teen Suicide Prevention Program
- Fallen Hero Plaque Program
- Widener Symposium on Child Abuse, "Lessons from Tragedy: Legal, Professional, and Ethical Issues Raised by Bradley and Beyond"
- "The Mouse Who Went Surfing Alone"