For attorney Laura Gentile, running for Hampden County Clerk of Courts is a logical career pursuit.
“I’ve been an Assistant Clerk of Courts for Hampden County for more than 15 years,” she said, “so filling the Clerk’s position is a natural progression.”
“I know this job,” said the Democratic candidate, “so there’s no learning curve. Residents of Hampden County will have a knowledgeable, professional clerk of courts from the first day. And because I’m so familiar with all the legal procedures that the position requires, I can see ways of improving the efficiency of the clerk’s office and using our continually reduced funding more effectively to provide better and additional services to our citizens.”
Gentile is a lifelong resident of Hampden County, and relates that she, her husband and 18-year-old son live in the house she grew up in. “I belong to a family of lawyers,” she said. “My dad, Bob Santaniello, passed the bar on the day I was born. After my brother Rob Santaniello and I passed the bar exam, we joined my father in practice of law at his firm, Santaniello, Posnik & Basile, PC.”
Gentile earned her law degree from Western New England University School of Law. Prior to law school, she earned her master’s degree in Public Administration from American International College. She completed undergraduate work at Albertus Magnus College, and graduated from Cathedral High School.
Gentile described the duties of the clerk of courts office as “not high profile, but very important.”
“The clerk’s office is responsible for the legal and administrative duties required to move cases efficiently and effectively through the court system to see that people receive a fair and swift trial,” she explained. “We must ensure that everyone has equal access to the justice system, and that everyone is treated with respect.”
She noted that the most common way that area residents have contact with the clerk’s office is through the legally required participation in the pool for jury service.
“One of the complaints I hear all the time is the frustration people experience related to jury service. It’s inconvenient and time consuming, but it’s the right of all of our citizens,” she said. “For 15 years, I have worked hand in hand with the judges of the Superior Court and the Administrative Office of the Trial Court; I have some ideas to make jury service less burdensome, so that civic duty doesn’t become hard labor.”
Gentile noted that with no Republican candidate for the Clerk of Courts position, the September primary will be the deciding election for this race. “I urge every taxpayer in Hampden County to vote on Thursday, September 6, to select the best qualified candidates to serve our region in every office.”