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New Niagara County DA has new plan of action

Big changes are coming to the Niagara County District Attorney's office. A new DA has a new reorganization plan.Caroline Wojtaszek spent 12 years in the DA's office before moving on, most recently as a legal clerk for a judge. When the top job opened up with a resignation under fire, she put in for the post and wound up on Election Day running on five ballot lines without an opponent.

That is why whatever allocation the office has in the county budget to be voted on December 13, it represents her input and her plans for the office. That plan includes a major reorganization of the office.
"My thought is that the majority of our county, the people of our county, they touch the criminal justice system through town and city courts, mainly, and we need those people to walk away feeling that they were treated fairly, they were treated well, that they got the justice they deserved and you do that by doing better work in the city and town courts," she said.

She is doubling the size of the prosecutor staff for Niagara Falls and every city and town court will have an assigned prosecutor who will be in that court for the long-haul, learning the people and the problems and touching the public. She also will be setting up a Cold Case bureau to look at some long-unresolved cases.

Wojtaszek remembers her time as an assistant DA with fondness.
"When I worked there for 12 years, it was the best job I ever had," she said. "I left. I got other, more diverse experience and I'm going to bring back everything I learned from having worked under two administrations and now my job as a confidential law clerk with our county court judge and I'm going to bring all that back to make it an effective place and a happy place to work."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.