SUNBURY - Northumberland County Public Defender Melissa Norton is leaving her position for a similar post in Lancaster County.

Friday will be Norton's last work day.

The attorney said she's looking forward to becoming a public defender in her hometown area while expressing her deep appreciation for having the opportunity to serve Northumberland County for 27 years.

Norton, who served as an assistant district attorney prior to becoming a public defender, will be replaced by county conflicts counsel John Broda. In addition to his other duties, Broda will represent defendants at preliminary hearings at the office of Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III.

County officials have not yet named a replacement for Broda.

Norton, who has been employed by the county since Sept. 8, 1987, earns a salary of $66,430. Broda, who has been working for the county since Feb. 26, 2001, earns a salary of $65,127.