HUDSON-Three-term incumbent Beth Cozzolino will face her former first assistant district attorney, Catherine Leahy Scott, in Republican and Conservative primaries September 18, with each candidate presenting herself as tough prosecutor.
, the official designee of the county Republican Party Committee, says that her
record speaks for her
ability to do the job well.
also has the Conservative Party endorsement, and Ms. Leahy Scott is challenging her on that line too.
offered a list of her
most prominent convictions:
In a release sent by the D.A.'s
Office, Ms. Cozzolino
said that "just last month a city of Hudson alderman was sentenced on charges brought by my office for corruption and official misconduct: misusing public funds."
"I agree that it was a tough sentence," Ms. Cozzolino
, in a phone conversation, "tough but fair."In recent weeks, her rival in the primary, Ms. Leahy Scott has charged that Ms. Cozzolino
does not personally prosecute enough cases.
responded, saying, "Prosecuting a case myself is a real luxury for me. As a professional prosecutor, unlike a sole practitioner, I cannot turn a case down."She
added, "With an ever increasing caseload of thousands of cases-ranging from traffic tickets to murder-I know that my duty first and foremost is to do justice.
...Ms. Cozzolino said with the Muller case, she became the "first and only Columbia County District Attorney to personally gain a conviction and double life sentence in a murder case." She
said that her
success as district attorney is due in large part to the office's teamwork with the State Police, the Sheriff's Office
and other law enforcement agencies
said that preventing crime and helping victims of crime are as important as prosecuting criminals.To that end she has established the Committee for Safe Schools and an organization for teens called Advocates for Change.She has also established the Adult Protection Task Force to educate seniors on potential crimes they might face and keep them from becoming victims of crime.
"I have improved services for seniors," said Ms. Cozzolino
."We are the first county in the state to give away free emergency cell phones to seniors.This program was so successful that I was appointed to serve on a statewide task force dealing with the prevention of elder abuse," she
said. She is an advocate of the Crime Victim Assistance program that connects victims of crimes with vital services and works to help in restoring their lives.
The nature of Columbia County
has changed, said Ms. Cozzolino
, and the District Attorney's Office has kept pace, prosecuting drug trafficking, gang violence, cyber crime, identity theft, exploitation of children over the Internet, white collar crime-threats one might not have imagined in such a rural county.