Erie County District Attorney

John J. Flynn  

John J. Flynn became the 41st District Attorney of Erie County, NY in January of 2017. 


Flynn, born and raised in Western New York, attended Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988.  Flynn joined the United States Navy after college.  He attended Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and upon graduation, he was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy.  He then attended Navy Supply Corps School (The Navy’s Business School) in Athens, Georgia, and upon graduation, he was assigned to the USS CLEVELAND (LPD-7), stationed in San Diego, California.  There he served as the Assistant Supply Officer deploying overseas to the Western Pacific and served during the Gulf War.  

After he fulfilled his naval commitment, Flynn returned to his hometown of Buffalo, NY and attended The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo School of Law.  While in law school, he continued to serve in the Naval Reserves. Upon graduation from law school in 1995, he went back on active duty and served in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.  He served as a Navy attorney at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, where he was also appointed a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA), then served his final two years on active duty at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.  Flynn was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals during his time on active duty. 

In 2001, Flynn left active duty and returned home to Western New York. He joined the Erie County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney.  He was quickly promoted to the Homicide Bureau, where he served until leaving in 2002 to enter private law practice. Flynn was a civil defense attorney and plaintiff’s attorney from 2002 to 2016.  He also served as a lecturer at SUNY Buffalo State from 2009 to 2016, teaching a Moot Court class in the Political Science Department. Flynn continued to serve in the Naval Reserves until his retirement in 2017.  After re-affiliating with the reserves in 2001, he earned four additional Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.          

In 2003, Flynn decided to make his first run for public office.  He ran for and won a seat on the Town of Tonawanda Town Board.  In December of 2006, Flynn was appointed Town Justice in the Town of Tonawanda.  He won election to a full term in 2007.  In 2008, Flynn was appointed an acting Buffalo City Court Judge.  In 2010, Flynn left the bench and was appointed Town Attorney in Tonawanda, NY.  In 2016, he ran for Erie County District Attorney and took office on January 1, 2017. 

Flynn resides in the Town of Tonawanda with his wife, Debra, and has five children.