District Attorney’s Office
47 S. Fitzhugh St.
Rochester, NY 14614
Phone: 585 753-4500
Fax: 585 753-4576
THE MONROE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, under the leadership of Sandra Doorley, is charged with prosecuting felony and misdemeanor crimes and violations perpetrated against the citizens of Monroe County. The District Attorney, whose work is mandated by state law, is a constitutional officer elected to a four-year term as the county’s Chief Prosecutor. In 2015, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office successfully prosecuted over 20,000 cases (not including Traffic Court), ranking it among the top DA’s offices in New York State based on caseload. The office is arranged into twelve bureaus, each overseen by a Bureau Chief whose team of legal professionals specialize in the prosecution of specific crimes.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY SANDRA DOORLEY
Elected in 2011, Sandra Doorley is the first female District Attorney in Monroe County history. Prior to assuming office, Doorley served the District Attorney’s Office with distinction for nearly twenty years, successfully prosecuting thousands of high profile criminal cases and compiling an impressive record of victories. After joining the office in 1992, Sandra Doorley served under two consecutive administrations in the following capacities:
Sandra Doorley is recognized as a leader in the prosecution of cold cases using DNA evidence and has successfully obtained indictments and convictions in such cases, including the 1976 murder of a young girl in Rochester and the conviction of a serial sex offender for murder and sexual assault. In January 2011, Sandra Doorley was honored by the New York State District Attorney’s Association with the Robert M. Morgenthau Award in recognition for her “professional accomplishments, honesty, integrity and commitment to the fair and ethical administration of justice.” In 2014, Sandra was presented with the Stop the Hurt Award by Alternatives for Battered Women, recognizing her successful prosecution in the murder trial of Brockport College freshman, Alexandra Kogurt. In July of 2015, at the District Attorney’s Association of the State of New York Summer Conference, The New York State Prosecutor’s Training Institute awarded Sandra Doorley the Prosecutor of the Year Award. At the same conference, Sandra Doorley was sworn in as 3rd Vice-President of DAASNY, placing her in line to be President in July of 2018. In addition to her duties as District Attorney, Sandra Doorley continues to assume the role of lead prosecutor on several current and pending homicide and cases. Most recently, she was responsible for the successful murder conviction of Thomas Johnson III, who shot and killed Rochester Police Officer, Daryl Pierson in September of 2014.
FIRST ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY PERRY DUCKLES
The First Assistant District Attorney is appointed by the District Attorney and is responsible for homicide prosecutions and general office administration in addition to the direct oversight of five interoffice bureaus. Perry Duckles has been with the office since March of 2003, after graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. After completing a rotation in the Town of Gates and Rochester City Court, he moved into the DWI bureau as a trial assistant, before moving the Major Felony Bureau in 2006. In December of 2008, he accepted a position as Supervisor of the DWI Bureau, prosecuting fatalities and serious assaults involving motor vehicles. In 2011, he was promoted to Supervisor of the Major Felony Bureau, supervising 11 Assistant District Attorney’s in the prosecution of the Violent Felony Crimes, to involve Robberies, Assaults, and Burglaries, while personally handling Homicide cases that were assigned to him. In 2016, he was promoted to his current position. His most recent case was the successful prosecution of Johnny Blackshell, who committed the triple homicide at the Boys and Girls club in August of 2015.
SECOND ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY TIMOTHY L. PROSPERI
The Second Assistant District Attorney is appointed by the District Attorney and is responsible for both office administration and the direct oversight of four interoffice bureaus. Timothy Prosperi was appointed by former District Attorney Michael Green in 2009 and was retained in that role by District Attorney Doorley when she assumed office in 2012. A 25 year veteran of the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Prosperi spent four years in private practice before entering public service, where he has successfully prosecuted hundreds of felony level offenders, including more than 20 homicides. Prior to his appointment as Second Assistant District Attorney, he was Chief of the Special Investigations Bureau and served as Deputy Chief of the Local Court Bureau. Timothy L. Prosperi completed his undergraduate studies at SUNY Geneseo and is a graduate of the University of Buffalo Law School.
Overview of the District Attorney’s Office
The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office is structured into twelve Bureaus, each overseen by a Bureau Chief and Deputy Bureau Chief charged with the prosecution of specific crimes. The Chief of each Bureau reports to either the First Assistant District Attorney or the Second Assistant District Attorney, depending on the Bureau’s area of specialization. In 2012, the Special Victims Trial Division was created, integrating four discrete but similar bureaus into a single trial division in an effort to better facilitate the prosecution of these crimes (see organizational chart here).
Major Felony Bureau
Headed by Assistant District Attorney Julie Hahn, the Major Felony Bureau prosecutes career criminals and violent felony offenders for crimes including homicide, robbery, burglary, and assault. Homicide prosecutions are conducted by the First Assistant District Attorney with assistance from other attorneys assigned to this bureau. The Chief of the Major Felony Bureau reports directly to the First Assistant District Attorney.
Special Investigations Bureau
Headed by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Schwartz, the Special Investigations Bureau is responsible for the prosecution of all felony drug and gun cases, the acquisition of court orders for wiretaps, and for coordinating with arresting agencies to seize the assets of convicted drug dealers. In January of 2012, the prosecution of crimes involving guns was moved from the Major Felonies Bureau to the Special Investigations Bureau because felony drug crimes and guns crimes are so often interrelated. The Chief of the Special Investigations Bureau reports directly to the Second Assistant District Attorney.
Headed by Ray Benitez, the DWI Bureau is responsible for prosecuting all defendants charged with felony DWI, vehicular assault, and vehicular homicide, in addition to other crimes associated with the unlawful operation of a motor vehicle (i.e., Aggravated Unlicensed Operation). The Chief of the DWI Bureau reports directly to the Second Assistant District Attorney.
Non-Violent Felony Bureau
Headed by David Dys, the Non-Violent Felony Bureau prosecutes felony cases that do not involve bodily harm or the threat of bodily harm to victims. These crimes include burglary, auto theft, grand larceny, felony criminal mischief, and fraud cases not prosecuted by another specialized bureau. The Chief of the Non-Violent Felony Bureau reports directly to the First Assistant District Attorney.
Economic Crime Bureau
Headed by Mark Monaghan, the Economic Crime Bureau prosecutes cases of major fraud (involving amounts in excess of $10,000) on the part of individuals, businesses, or their employees. This bureau also investigates and prosecutes identity theft cases, felony insurance fraud, welfare fraud, and bank robberies not involving the use of firearms. In addition to the prosecution of these crimes, the Economic Crime Bureau works in cooperation with the County Child Support Enforcement Unit to identify and prosecute child support delinquency cases. The Chief of the Economic Crime Bureau reports directly to the First Assistant District Attorney.
Grand Jury Bureau
Headed by Michelle Crowley, the Grand Jury Bureau assists prosecutors working on felony-level cases schedule and prepare arguments for presentation before the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury Bureau works closely with the Office of the Commissioner of Jurors to ensure the smooth operation of the several Grand Juries that are empanelled each court term in Monroe County. In addition to supervising the bureau, Ms. Crowley advises prosecutors on Grand Jury presentation procedures and techniques. The Chief of the Grand Jury Bureau reports directly to the Second Assistant District Attorney.
Local Courts Bureau
Headed by Ann Chase, the Local Courts Bureau prosecutes all misdemeanor and violation-level offenses in city, town, and village courts, in addition to handling traffic matters in the village and town courts. Prosecutors from this bureau assigned to City Court also oversee most felony arraignments. At more than 29,000 cases per year, the Local Courts Bureau prosecutes the largest volume of cases and is thus assigned the largest number of attorney staff. The Chief of the Local Courts Bureau reports directly to the Second Assistant District Attorney.
Headed by Steve O’Brien, the Appeals Bureau responds to all appeals made in felony cases, and makes appellate motions on behalf of prosecutors assigned to other bureaus. The Appeals Bureau also handles all fugitive matters, extradition cases, Federal Habeas Corpus requests, and Freedom of Information Act inquiries. Prosecutors assigned to this bureau argue cases before all appellate courts, including the US Supreme Court. The Chief of the Appeals Bureau reports directly to the First Assistant District Attorney.
THE SPECIAL VICTIMS TRIAL DIVISION
Headed by Assistant District Attorney Mary Randall, this division includes the Child Abuse Bureau, Sex Crimes Bureau, Domestic Violence Bureau, and Elder Abuse Bureau. This division is intended to allow prosecutors who specialize in certain areas of the law to receive direct support from colleagues with associated legal expertise. The Special Victims Trail Division is designed to ensure that the victims of these crimes receive the specialized services and attention they need.
Child Abuse Bureau
Headed by Sara Vanstrydonck, the Child Abuse Bureau is a part of the Special Victims Trial Division. The Child Abuse Bureau is responsible for prosecuting all cases involving the physical and sexual abuse of children, as well as crimes involving child neglect and/or endangerment. The Chief of the Child Abuse Bureau reports directly to the Chief of the Special Victims Trail Division and the First Assistant District Attorney.
Sex Crimes Bureau
Headed by Elizabeth Buckley, the Sex Crimes Bureau investigates and prosecutes cases involving adult sexual assaults and other related crimes. This Bureau is comprised of trial attorneys with specialized knowledge and training in sex crimes, and prosecutors who work for the Sex Crimes Bureau work closely with victim advocates who support the victim throughout the criminal process in an effort to minimize trauma. The Chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau reports directly to the Chief of the Special Victims Trial Division and the First Assistant District Attorney.
Domestic Violence Bureau
Headed by William Gargan, the Domestic Violence Bureau is responsible for prosecuting cases involving crimes characterized as abuse by one adult or adolescent intimate partner against another. Crimes that would typically be prosecuted by this bureau include the felony classifications of criminal contempt, assault, stalking, kidnapping, criminal mischief, and burglary in addition to related misdemeanor offenses. The Chief of the Domestic Violence Bureau reports directly to the Chief of the Special Victims Trial Division and the First Assistant District Attorney.
Elder Abuse Bureau
Headed by Monica O'Brien, the Elder Abuse Bureau prosecutes crimes against the elderly. This includes violent and nonviolent felonies with a focus on physical abuse, property crimes, and financial exploitation where the victim is targeted based on their advanced age. This bureau works with various agencies, including the Victim Witness Bureau, to ensure that the needs of victims are being met throughout the criminal proceedings and beyond. The Chief of the Elder Abuse Bureau reports directly to the Chief of the Special Victims Trial Division and the First Assistant District Attorney.
NON-PROSECUTORIAL SUPPORT FUNCTIONS
While the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office is primarily composed of attorneys charged with prosecuting crimes, a secondary body of “non-prosecutorial staff” assist both the District Attorney and the office’s prosecutors by assuming the numerous ancillary roles and performing the many tasks that result in successful convictions.
Victim Witness Unit
The Victim Witness Unit assists the victims of serious crimes by helping them cope with the demands of the criminal justice system after what is often a traumatic and life-altering event. The Victim Witness Unit regularly makes referrals to counseling, arranges rides to and from court, provides interpreters when needed, assists in preparation of victim impact statements, and makes referrals for assistance from the NYS Office of Victim Services. In addition to these roles, the staff of the Victim Witness Unit works closely with the District Attorney’s Office and Probation to obtain court orders for the restitution of losses.
District Attorney Investigators Bureau
Composed of designated police officers, the District Attorney Investigators Bureau is tasked with conducting critical investigative work designed to supplement and enhance the prosecutorial efforts of the District Attorney’s Office. These investigative tasks include but are not limited to witness cultivation, witness interviewing, and the administration of sealed investigations under the direction of the District Attorney. Members of the District Attorney Investigators Bureau are seasoned law enforcement professionals.
Administration & Support Services
The Administration & Support Services staff perform critical, non-prosecutorial functions for the District Attorney and her team of 79 prosecutors. Tasks that are typically handled by this staff include but are not limited to management of the office budget, grant writing and grant management, oversight of personnel issues, and assisting the District Attorney with public outreach and communications. In addition to these functions, members of the Administration & Support Services staff perform essential clerical duties for all bureaus including data entry, document preparation, and other support services as required.
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