District Attorney Defends Office’s Record

As Chautauqua County District Attorney, I am very proud of the work ethic put forth by my office team working hard every day to serve and protect the residents of our county.

As the county’s chief prosecutor, I make decisions that affect people’s lives from driving offenses to murder. I decide who to prosecute and who to offer plea deals in the best interest of families or when it just makes good sense to take a case to trial and allow a jury made up of one’s peers make a final decision of guilty or not. I don’t fear losing any case and I don’t celebrate wins. Justice isn’t about my personal wins or loses. That’s not the American legal system.

I make all of my decisions based on what is in the best interest of our county and what is in the best interest of the police that bravely enforce our laws.

The Post-Journal and Observer have recently questioned prosecution decisions I’ve made. I welcome the examination of our work. It’s healthy for any organization to be subjected to outside evaluation.

I absolutely don’t second guess the accomplishment and the work of the DA’s office over the past two years. I don’t second guess taking cases to trial to let a jury decide innocence or guilt. I don’t second guess plea deals that spared children having to relive the trauma that surrounded their mother’s death. I certainly don’t second guess putting forth the best offense possible as our county’s chief prosecutor.

Moving forward, Chautauqua County can depend on me and can be assured that my office will be working day and night to keep bad people off the street and will work day and night to protect the integrity of our county legal system.

Patrick Swanson is Chautauqua County District Attorney.