Big district attorney choice coming

Editor, OBSERVER:

In other countries, prosecutors are appointed by bureaucrats – here, we get to elect our district attorneys directly.

So, it is vital that Republicans turn out to vote in the Sept. 10 primary. The Democrats do not have a proposed candidate, so the Republican primary between Lori Rieman and Mark Williams will be vitally important in deciding who the next Cattaraugus County DA is going to be.

Lori Rieman was elected four years ago, promising to right the wrongs that she had witnessed as First Assistant DA for eight years in the DA’s office. She won with a promise of change for the better. The problems that Ms. Rieman identified in her campaign against the then-DA – dropped prosecutions, lack of collaboration with police, lack of communication with victims and rising crime – have not improved, but have in many ways deteriorated during her four years as DA. Perhaps we were naive to think that someone from the previous DA’s office could improve things substantially.

It is time for a new broom, not implicated in past failures, to clean up the office. Mark Williams has done an excellent job as Public Defender. He is always prepared for court and works closely with his clients, defending them with tenacity and compassion. He is respected by law enforcement officers who know that they must be well-prepared for court, because he certainly will be. The efficiency of the Public Defender’s Office contrasts sharply with what we have seen from the DA – and all on a much smaller budget.

It is time to give Mark Williams the opportunity to work for victims and law enforcement with the efficiency he has shown as Public Defender. So Republicans, vote for Mark Williams on Sept. 10.

PHILIPPE YATES,

Olean