Michael J. Flaherty, Jr.
Acting District Attorney
The District Attorney represents the citizens of Erie County in criminal cases and is our chief law enforcement official. The District Attorney’s Office, regardless of the police agency conducting the investigation, is responsible for the just prosecution of nearly every crime committed in Erie County; i.e. the prosecution of misdemeanor cases in the city, town and village courts; the prosecution of felony cases in State Supreme Court and Erie County Court; and, the prosecution of misdemeanor and felony cases in several specialty courts. We are also responsible for all post-conviction litigation in the state and federal appellate courts.
In addition to annually litigating approximately 40,000 criminal cases in over 60 different courts, the District Attorney presents cases to the Erie County Grand Jury and serves as its legal advisor. The District Attorney’s Office also provides legal advice and investigation support to all federal, state and county agencies charged with investigating criminal activity. The work performed by the District Attorney’s Office is mandated by the Constitution and laws of the State of New York.
The Bureaus within the General Prosecutions Division handle most of the cases. The Bureaus within the Specialized Prosecutions Division handle the most challenging cases and prosecute the most dangerous criminals. The professionals assigned to the Prosecution Support Services Division provide the necessary non-legal and quasi-legal services required to run a modern-day law office.
Our annual budget is determined by the Erie County Legislature after submission to that body by the Erie County Executive. Most of our funding comes from the taxpayers of Erie County, although a significant percentage of our funding comes from non-county sources.