Saturday, August 16, 2008

Deputy DA Moving up to AG’s Office

According to the Times Leader... one of the DA's assigned to Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes' murder trial will be leaving office...

Tim Doherty will prosecute drug cases in eight-county area for attorney general.

Doherty, 52, who spent nine years as a Luzerne County assistant district attorney, has accepted the position as deputy state attorney general assigned to the state Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control.

The former Scranton police officer will prosecute narcotics offenses that occur in eight Northeastern Pennsylvania counties.

“I saw this as an opportunity to be a good stepping stone, moving up the ladder in the criminal justice system,” Doherty said Friday during a gathering of co-workers. “This will allow me to focus on one area of the law, narcotics.”

Doherty was hired by then-District Attorney Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. in February 1999. He stayed during District Attorney David Lupas’ eight-year tenure, moving through the ranks to become a special assistant United States attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Soon after Jacqueline Musto Carroll became district attorney in January, she appointed Doherty as the office’s deputy district attorney, giving him more authority over thousands of cases.

Musto Carroll said she will miss Doherty’s energetic work ethic.

“An opportunity like this doesn’t come around often,” Musto Carroll said. “I’m very proud one of our own has been chosen.”

She described Doherty as a tireless “prosecutor’s prosecutor,” who will be missed in the office.

Although he will miss the “daily grind” of handling multiple cases on a variety of crimes, Doherty said he is looking forward to focusing on prosecuting drug dealers.

“With the district attorney’s office, you’re handling everything, and you really don’t have the time that you really want to put in on a case,” Doherty said.

One crime Doherty took special interest in was arson.

Doherty explained he saw an opportunity early in his career to gather experience when he noticed arson cases were being assigned among different assistant district attorneys. He said arson cases are difficult to prosecute because evidence is destroyed and there are usually no eye witnesses.

It wasn’t unusual to see Doherty, wearing a suit and dress shoes, inside a smoldering building holding a flashlight, a note pad and talking to firefighters and fire inspectors.

Doherty said he became a prosecutor because he wanted more control over how cases are settled.

“As a police officer, you can only do so much as cases progress through the system,” Doherty said.