Cops, Courts and Fire Government

Bucks County District Attorney Weintraub Leaves Office, Begins New Chapter As Judge

After serving as district attorney since 2016, Matt Weintraub ends his tenure to assume a new role as a judge on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.

Bucks County DA Matt Weintraub speaks at a press briefing in 2017.

Serving as Bucks County’s district attorney, the chief law enforcement officer in one of the state’s largest counties, was the job of a lifetime for Matt Weintraub.

The 55-year-old Bucks County native ended his time as district attorney at the end of 2023. This week, he will become the newest judge on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.

Weintraub, who has served as district attorney since 2016, has been reelected to the position twice as a Republican. He has seen his time in office filled with big cases that will go down in the county’s history books.

After handling both high-profile and typical cases that prosecutors across the nation routinely face, Weintraub said in an interview with,, and that now feels like the right time to take on a new challenge on the county’s highest bench.

Despite the challenges and the demands beyond a regular 9 to 5 job, Weintraub said, “I love the job.”

However, Weintraub noted common pleas judge seats don’t come up very often in Bucks County, and he felt 2023 was the right time to run for the seat, which he ran unopposed for and won in November.

“These opportunities don’t come around often. When one arises, you have to make that critical decision, even if it’s not perfect timing,” Weintraub said.

“From having spoken with a couple of my (district attorney) colleagues who have become judges, they’ve said to me: you don’t realize the amount of stress you’re carrying as district attorney,” Weintraub stated.

First Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Schorn will be sworn in this week to serve as district attorney until the end of Weintraub’s term in 2025.

First Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Schorn speaking as District Attorney Matt Weintraub watches in late 2023.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

Weintraub said Schorn was his “handpicked” successor to fill his seat. He noted that she is being given the chance to have a live audition for the job if she runs for election.

Weintraub faced a similar trial-by-fire opportunity when then-District Attorney David Heckler retired in 2016 after decades of public service in several elected roles. Weintraub was appointed as the district attorney ahead of a 2017 election.

Among the most high-profile cases during Weintraub’s tenure were the murder of four young men at a farm in Solebury Township and the 2016 case involving the rape, murder, and dismemberment of a teenage girl.

Weintraub, an Upper Southampton Township native, is a graduate of William Tennent High School in Warminster and Temple University Law School in Philadelphia. He first interned in the district attorney’s office in 1992 before being hired full-time in 1993. He eventually left the office for prosecutor jobs in Lehigh County and Cape May, New Jersey and was hired back in Bucks County in 2011. Before being appointed district attorney in 2016, he oversaw all criminal prosecution, including major crimes, in Bucks County.

Then Assistant District Attorney Matt Weintraub speaking about the dangers of heroin in March 2014.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

Over his years in office, Weintraub learned that being the district attorney was about putting together a good team and making the right decisions.

“I remember thinking, ‘my gosh, I’m gonna have to change everything.’ I’m going to have to get a new haircut, get a new wardrobe, and I’m going have to learn how to speak better and go to DA finishing school,” he said. “I was selected and it was just one calamitous situation after another. And the next thing I know is that you’re doing fine without any of those things. I reacted and made the best decisions that I could with the information that I had.”

Weintraub’s advice to the county’s new district attorney: “Trust your instincts, delegate, and surround yourself with great people and you’ll do great as long as you just keep being the person that you’ve been to get you this far. And I know that she will do great.”

Going forward, Weintraub has few regrets about his time as district attorney, but he acknowledged there were some “personnel challenges” that he has reflected on. His former first assistant district attorney left the office after getting caught in a scandal involving delivering DoorDash.

Over the past few weeks as Weintraub has prepared to leave the district attorney’s office and head to his new judge’s chamber in the Justice Center, he has heard from victims and family of victims who have reflected on cases he was involved in.

“It incredibly gratifying,” he said of those conversations.

District Attorney Matt Weintraub at a community event. File photo.
Credit: Hugh D. Fegely/

The outgoing district attorney said he also has heard from people who haven’t been afraid to tell him they believe he got something wrong or they didn’t agree with him on a decision.

Since taking office in 2016, the political landscape has changed and become more vicious.

Weintraub said there has always been criticism of public figures and he respects people have that right. He noted he largely ignores the few who have “gone over the line and made things personal.”

Pointing to his election victories, Weintraub noted the majority of Bucks County voters have supported him.

Political candidates and regional law enforcement officials in areas that border Philadelphia have complained that crime from Philadelphia has impacted the suburbs. Some of that criticism has been pointed at two-term Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who is often portrayed as a progressive prosecutor.

Weintraub said elected prosecutors have priorities when they run and during their terms in office. He said Philadelphia’s crime does have some an on Bucks County, but Weintraub said he believes Bucks County remains safe and will so into the future.

“That’s the reason that people decide to move the Bucks County is because we are safe. I do think neighbors look out for each other. I think people care about each other. I don’t think that there’s lawlessness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite,” Weintraub said. “We have a real community spirit and Bucks County that we need to see a lot more of that.”

Krasner’s approach to his office has given Weintraub and other prosecutors something to think about as they look at their own offices.

“We have taken a closer look at some of our practices and policies,” Weintraub said. “For the most part, we don’t change them, but there are some we’ve changed because it was time to take a fresh look at things.”

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub speaking.
Credit: PA Internet News Service

The drug epidemic has led to Weintraub and his team taking a fresh look at drug possession and human trafficking has led to a different approach to some prostitution investigations.

During his time as the county’s lead prosecutor, Weintraub said he is most proud of a program to provide free gun locks for households with kids or someone with dementia, the multi-agency co-responder program with police departments and the county commissioners, a focus on gun crimes, and the foundation of a mental health court. He also said the expansion of the drug diversion and treatment programs have been important to him.

“I still think there needs to be accountability. There has to be consequences, but if we can attack drug addiction issues at the root, the goal is to never see this person in the criminal justice system again,” Weintraub said.

In early December, Weintraub oversaw the homicide plea and sentencing for a New Jersey man who killed a Levittown resident after a road-rage incident. Weintraub led the case for assistant district attorney who was out on medical leave. It marked his last case behind the prosecution table.

The Bucks County Justice Center in Doylestown. File photo.

Starting this week, Weintraub will be seeing the cases from a different side of the courtroom.

The prosecutor-turned-judge said he won’t be overseeing criminal cases for some time, but he can decide on civil and family court matters.

“When you boil it down, it’s all about sizing up situations, assessing the facts, and applying the law,” he said.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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