It's been 100 days since the changing of the guard in the district attorney's office.
Andrea Harrington defeated incumbent Paul Caccaviello in November with a message of reform and change. To a large crowd at the Berkshire Museum, she took the oath of office on Jan. 2 and so began a new day in that office.
Domestic and sexual violence has hit a "crisis level" according to District Attorney Andrea Harrington.
On Tuesday, she announced a new countywide Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force that will focus on curbing what is now growing numbers of sexual and domestic violence cases. The task force will focus on outreach, securing new resources, and providing education and training throughout the Berkshires in an effort to prevent such crimes from happening.
District Attorney Andrea Harrington doesn't see her job as simply tossing people into jail cells.
Instead, she is seeking to create a culture and environment where causes such as drug or mental health problems are addressed in the community so the crimes don't happen again.
If Andrea Harrington wants to make the changes to the office that voters elected her to make, it is going to require the right team of staff members.
And that's whats Harrington has been spending her last month or so building. Harrington defeated incumbent Paul Caccaviello in the November election and since then the Richmond Democrat has been focusing finding people she believes in to take leadership rolls in the next incarnation of the district attorney's office.
District Attorney-elect Andrea Harrington added two more to her leadership team on Tuesday.
Richard Dohoney will be brought on as Harrington's deputy district attorney and Jeanne Kempthorne will serve as chief of appeals and legal counsel. Dohoney, of Great Barrington, is currently the city solicitor. Kempthorne is a former federal prosecutor working in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston for 11 years.
Andrea Harrington has started to build her team.
On Wednesday, the district attorney-elect announced Karen Bell as her first assistant district attorney. Bell is currently an assistant district attorney in Hampden County with some 20 years of experience. She's said to have worked in the appellate division, the district court, grand jury, and the superior court divisions.
The night hadn't been as late as many expected because, in just about every town, Harrington's numbers were above what Caccaviello could get. The race was over and while Caccaviello hadn't yet conceded, Harrington knew it and celebrated.
Amanda Hamilton didn't personally know William Catalano but she knew the family.
She said she knows Catalano's father very well and refers to the Catalanos close as family friends. Her father Tim Hamilton said the two families grew up together. Catalano was recently killed in a fight and they want justice.
It is the final week in the district attorney's race and those in Andrea Harrington's camp are as energetic as ever.
On Tuesday, the campaign held a rally exactly one week before the general election and the final push to get out the vote unfolds. The event was part fundraiser - donations were accepted but we whatever the supporter wanted to give - part organizing - as campaigner staffers sorted out volunteers for sign holding on election day - and a part rally to energize the supporters.
It is now crystal clear that Paul Caccaviello used the Democratic Party as a way to assure what he perceived as an easy path to get elected. Why should this be a surprise as he was never a Democrat and his positions throughout the campaign demonstrated that?
I am a "law and order" person who believes in the rule of law and the safety of our community, but I know the district attorney's duties go beyond that. So, to help decide who the best candidate for DA is, I looked all the facts and ask that you do the same.
No one should have a monopoly on this office for years at a time. It is important for fair administration. This is why we have elections for certain positions. And the election process should not be controlled by money or power.
In the latest surprising turn in the race for district attorney, the second-place finisher in the Democratic primary has now been endorsed by the Republican Party.
Paul A. Caccaviello is being supported in his write-in campaign against Andrea Harrington by the Berkshire County Republican Association
Judith Knight isn't going to be the next district attorney. But she hopes Paul Caccaviello will be.
Knight, who finished third in the Democratic primary in September, is putting her support behind Caccaviello's write-in campaign. Knight made the announcement on steps of the Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday.
The bell has been rung to start Round 2.
Paul Caccaviello announced on Wednesday that he intends to run a write-in campaign for district attorney. The announcement comes two weeks after he lost the Democratic primary. Caccaviello released a statement confirming his intention to continue to seek the office of district attorney, however, was not available for further comment moments after releasing the statement.
When Andrea Harrington entered the district attorney's race, she knew she could do it. She fully expected to win the race.
She didn't think she was an underdog in the race, but she was.
"I didn't realize how improbable my winning was until I actually won," Harrington said on Thursday.
The lead between the candidates shifted as the votes in the two cities were recorded but narrowed as ballots from the smaller towns came streaming in. Harrington opened up a lead that couldn't be overcome.