A Williamsville attorney was appointed Tuesday as the new part-time Cheektowaga town prosecutor.
Anthony S. Pecoraro, 44, was recommended by the two town justices, according to Town Supervisor Mary F. Holtz.
“I left it up to them because they have to deal with [him],” she said.
Pecoraro’s appointment, which was effective Tuesday, was approved during a Town Board work session. He already has been in the courtroom, getting trained by Deputy Town Attorney Jeff Whiting.
As a condition of the appointment, Pecoraro must become a town resident by July 1.
Town prosecutors are paid a salary in the $20,000 and receive no benefits, Holtz said.
Pecoraro replaces Kathleen M. McDonald, who was stripped of her authority to serve as a public prosecutor late last month by Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III. His action followed the April 28 publication of a letter to The Buffalo News in which McDonald characterized Sedita as “overzealous” in his prosecution of Charles Markel, who lost his seat on the Cheektowaga Town Board after when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to unemployment insurance fraud. She resigned from town employment days after Sedita’s action.
City and town attorneys routinely appear in municipal courts on behalf of the district attorney, handling lower-level offenses – mostly vehicle and traffic offenses. The district attorney must give approval before the appointee gains prosecutorial authority, which is renewed annually.
“The DA’s office already approved this individual,” Town Attorney Kevin G. Schenk noted before the board’s vote.
Pecoraro’s appointment brings the town prosecutor’s office back to full strength – for now.
According to Holtz, the other prosecutor, Melissa A. Reese, soon will be going on maternity leave. Earlier this month, Reese declared her candidacy for town justice; the term of Dennis A. Delano Sr. expires in November.