SEPTA now officially has its own special prosecutor for crimes committed on Philly’s transit system

17 June 2024- Attorney General Michelle Henry announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute crimes on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) public transit system in Philadelphia, as mandated by Pennsylvania Act 40 of 2023.

Act 40 was passed by the legislature and signed into law by the governor in December and required the Office of Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to “investigate and institute criminal proceedings” for violations of law occurring within SEPTA.

On Friday, the Commonwealth Court ruled the Act is constitutional. The Office of Attorney General had advised the court on June 11 that it would be making the appointment Friday, and the opinion allows that appointment to proceed.

Michael Untermeyer, Esq., of Philadelphia, has been appointed to fill that role.

Untermeyer most recently worked as an attorney in private practice. He has fifteen years experience as a prosecutor, including serving as special counsel to the Office of Inspector General, Deputy and Senior Deputy Attorney General, and as an Assistant District Attorney. Additionally, he has four years experience as a hearing examiner for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Act 40, as written by the legislature, required potential candidates to: reside within Philadelphia County; have at least five years of criminal prosecution experience in Pennsylvania; not have been employed by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office or the Office of Attorney General in the past six years, among other requisites.

“We worked diligently to follow the mandates of Act 40 to fill the position, first by posting the opportunity, then interviewing applicants to ascertain if they fit the specific criteria established by the law,” Attorney General Henry said. “We selected a candidate who expressed a commitment to public safety while possessing the qualifications required by Act 40.”