Salary: $182,1844 year termThe County District Attorney is elected to be the chief law enforcement officer in the county. The District Attorney oversees an office of prosecutors, detectives, and support personnel, which handles cases each year in the County Court of Common Pleas and the appellate courts.Responsibilities:As Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the County, the District Attorney investigates and prosecutes all crimes.The District Attorney ensures that all victims of crime are represented as required by the Crime Victims Bill of Rights, and that their authorized, legal claims for restitution are processed.The District Attorney ensures that all persons arrested for criminal offenses are processed in order to establish identity, prior criminal record, and mental health impact and thereby facilitate valid bail consideration and outstanding arrest warrant status.
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I‘ve worked most of my adult life to acquire the skills necessary to excel in the office of district attorney. I served in the US Army as a Military Intelligence Officer. I was a top prosecutor in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. I’ve served 11 years as District Attorney as well as 12 years as a judge in Cumberland County.
I’ve dedicated my professional life to criminal law and protecting our citizens as district attorney and as a judge in Cumberland County. I have experience and a record of accomplishment as a proven prosecutor and as a statewide leader in the criminal justice system. I’ve led the innovation of the district attorney’s office from the creation of a state-of-the-art forensic crime lab, to the Drug Treatment Court and a fully staffed crime-victim assistance unit.
My record of accomplishment is the reason I’ve won the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Cumberland County Republican Party.
I will use the Drug Treatment Court that I founded to its fullest extent giving an opportunity for defendants to pursue treatment for their addiction(s) while productively addressing their legal problems. Additionally, I helped found Cumberland County's Opioid Intervention Court. It is only the 2nd court of its kind in the United States. The Opioid Intervention Court is an extremely intensive early intervention program designed to address the treatment needs for people with an opiate abuse history and to prevent them from using while their case proceeds through the criminal courts. The goal is preventing fatal overdoses and saving lives it is working!
Fortunately, our citizens are living longer and healthier lives. Unfortunately, criminals are prying on many of our seniors and we’ve seen an increase in elder abuse cases. To combat this problem, I’m creating a fully operational Elder Abuse Task Force that works with local and state law enforcement agencies to prioritize elder abuse victims.
I’ve seen first hand the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic on individuals, families and communities. I have a specific plan that includes the vigorous investigation of all overdose deaths in order to charge drug dealers with drug delivery resulting in death. Additionally, I will use the Drug Treatment Court that I founded to its fullest extent giving an opportunity for defendants to pursue treatment for their addiction(s) while productively addressing their legal problems.
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My legal career has spanned both prosecution and defense. I spent 9 years prosecuting at both the county and state levels and 9 years defending the accused at federal, state and local levels. Having practiced in a variety of forums has given me a unique insight into the legal world many prosecuting attorneys never experience as their understanding of the process and practice are from one side.
Whenever and where ever possible the default position of my office will seek rehabilitation over retribution. The retributive model has swollen our prisons to an embarrassing and unprecedented level - the largest prison population in the history of mankind is currently sitting in American prisons. Our bloated state and county budgets warehouse humans only to see a rate of recidivism at the highest level in the developed world. It's a national disgrace and I hope to steer our county's prosecution model in a different direction.
First of all, I'd say constantly expanding prison populations with attendant budgets. "Tough on crime" has led us to where we are today. "Tough on crime" serves to pad the resume of the local prosecutor on the backs of the poor, usually black and brown communities. It's unjust. It's expensive and it's counterproductive. Business as usual isn't working.
Where possible we will seek rehabilitation over retribution.
Line prosecutors will be directed to give the judge an estimate as to what the proposed punishment will cost the taxpayers - in every case - at the time of sentencing.
We will bring an end to the senseless prosecution of marijuana possession cases.
We will end the hypocritical, astronomically expensive and non-deterrent death penalty. I repeat. If elected, we will not seek the death penalty for any case, under any circumstances, in Cumberland County.