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Andrea Harrington on election night.

Harrington Announces First Assistant, Transition Team Chair

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Hampden County Assistant District Attorney Karen Bell will serve as first assistant district attorney.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — 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. 
 
"Bell has prosecuted thousands of cases and most recently served as a member of the Hampden County District Attorney's Superior Court Homicide Unit," reads a release from Harrington.
 
Harrington also announced that retired state Supreme Judicial Court Justice Francis Spina will chair a transition team. The team and Harrington will work with outgoing District Attorney Paul Caccaviello during the next few months to smooth a transition into the office. 
 
"I am proud of the experienced and visionary team we are building to help shape the district attorney's office. Incoming First Assistant Karen Bell and transition chair Francis Spina bring decades of courtroom experience to the team, and Paul Caccaviello has been an incredible resource throughout the process," Harrington wrote in a statement. 
 
"As district attorney, I look forward to working closely with prosecutors, community stakeholders, local non-profit organizations, and residents from across the county to make our towns and cities safe and healthy places to live, work, raise your family, and retire.  I am excited with the progress our team has made thus far, but we're only getting started."
 
Spina is a Pittsfield native who served in the Berkshire County district attorney's office, then as a Superior Court and an appeals court judge before taking the bench on the Supreme Judicial Court.
 
Harrington said a full transition team will be announced after Thanksgiving. 
 
Harrington just won election to the seat after fending off a write-in campaign by Caccaviello, who served as the first assistant under former District Attorney David Capeless until his retirement in March. Caccaviello said in a statement that he has since met with Harrington to establish the transition process.
 
"Andrea and I have been working closely to establish a process that will ensure a seamless transition into the District Attorney's office. In the months ahead, Andrea and I will further this collaboration so that the criminal justice system in Berkshire County continues to do what matters most to us both — putting the safety of our residents first," Caccaviello wrote.

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Pittsfield at-Large City Councilor Candidates Answer Questions

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Candidate for the four a-large City Council seats participated in a forum Monday at Berkshire Community College as they made a push for votes before election day.
 
Seven candidates fielded questions at a forum hosted by BCC, in partnership with the Pittsfield Gazette and Pittsfield Community Television, which recorded the forum. The moderator was Shawn Serre, executive director of PCTV.
 
After some opening statements, the candidates were asked to pick a number that prompted a question. After three candidates answered the question the next candidate in line chose a new number. At the end of the session, candidates were given two minutes to answer questions they did not get or to expand on the answers they gave.
 
One of the first questions brought forward was about Mayor Linda Tyer's proposed home improvement plan that would have allowed qualified residents to apply for money from the Pittsfield Economic Development Fund to make small improvements to their homes.
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