Gov. Rendell yesterday nominated an investment banker who is the wife of a major Democratic fund-raiser to fill the vacant post of state treasurer, and a Philadelphia judge for an interim appointment to the State Supreme Court.
Rendell also named Villanova lawyer Robert C. Daniels, 68, special counsel with the law firm of Sprague and Sprague, to the State Superior Court.
All three, who must be confirmed by the State Senate, have agreed to serve only until the current terms expire.
Rendell said there was "no better choice" than Robin Wiessmann, a Bucks County Democrat, to replace Bob Casey Jr., who is now in the U.S. Senate, as treasurer.
Wiessmann, 53, has been an adviser and investment banker for treasurers in Pennsylvania and six other states as well as for the comptrollers of New York City and New York state. She also headed the top female-owned investment banking firm in the United States.
Her husband is Kenneth M. Jarin, a national Democratic fund-raiser who contributed at least $80,000 to Rendell's campaign fund over the last five years.
In an interview, Wiessmann said any concerns that her appointment may have been connected to her husband's fund-raising were unfounded. "I think it's fair to say this nomination is about me and my professional credentials," she said.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge James Fitzgerald 3d, a Republican, was named to replace Justice Sandra Schultz Newman, a Republican who recently resigned from the State Supreme Court.
Fitzgerald, 67, said he would not run for a 10-year term. If confirmed, he will serve until next January, when whoever wins the November election for the high court takes office.
"Being a justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the very ultimate in public service," Fitzgerald said yesterday.