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DA CANDIDATE CLAIMS INCREASE IN CRIME

The Republican candidate for Chautauqua County district attorney is pointing to a rise in the county's crime rate over the past four years as a reason to make a change in that department.

Charles Metcalfe Monday claimed the local crime rate rose while the rest of the state and country saw a decline.

"We saw a decrease in the crime rate from 1990 to 1993 of 13 percent," he said. "Then, since my opponent took office in 1993, the crime rate has climbed back up by 9.48 percent."

Democratic incumbent James Subjack called the statistics "very misleading."

"He is saying the crime rate in Chautauqua County has risen by about 9 percent," Subjack said. "That is indicative of what has happened in small communities throughout the country. In the big metropolitan areas crime has gone down, but in rural areas it has gone up.

"During that same period of time, felony indictments went up 40 percent in Chemung County, where he (Metcalfe) is a chief prosecutor," Subjack added.

Metcalfe also claimed there has been too much plea bargaining in Chautauqua County.

"The number of trials is extremely low when you compare Chautauqua County to other similar counties around the state, and the amount of plea bargaining seems to be excessive," he said.

Subjack called that charge "ridiculous."

"That system involves the judge, probation, and our office," Subjack said. "We try to fashion the best disposition using all of those tools."

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