District Attorney, Monroe County
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
One of the most important lessons I have learned in my career is to treat every case and every challenge as unique. There are rarely identical circumstances in the challenges that face us. Whether it is in my profession looking at criminal cases or as a supervisor handling personnel matters, I learn from experiences but recognize that every situation is different and to treat matters with the detail they deserve. A one-size-fits-all approach rarely works for complex matters in any given career.
What’s been your biggest success?
Looking back in my nine years as an elected district attorney and nearly 30 years as a prosecutor, my biggest success was finding justice for fallen Rochester Police Officer Daryl Pierson in the prosecution of Thomas Johnson III.
Who have been the biggest mentors in your career?
When I was hired as an assistant district attorney in 1992, I looked up to the then DA, Howard Relin. Perhaps the most important mentor to me was Mary Randall. Mary, who led the Special Victims Trial Division after an already-fulfilling career, knew what it took as a female in a male-dominated field to not only be successful, but to be the most ethical and always search for justice. Mary was a role model and friend to everyone.
What are your hopes for the Rochester community this year?
My hope is that the Rochester community will take the pain of the past year and come together stronger than ever. I always say that there is more than unites us than divides us and I believe that this is the year for unification. Together, we are stronger.