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SHARKEY PREPARING TO BEGIN 4-YEAR TERM AS DISTRICT ATTORNEY FRIDAY

Edward M. Sharkey, a former Erie County assistant district attorney, will begin his new job Friday as district attorney for Cattaraugus County.

Sharkey, 51, of Olean, easily won election in November over District Attorney Michael P. Nevins, also of Olean, and will begin a four-year term this week. His salary is $99,000.

In Erie County, Sharkey prosecuted cases for seven years before moving to Olean in 1984. Since then, he specialized in personal-injury cases and maintained a private practice with Mark S. Williams, a county legislator from Hinsdale.

Joseph Dietrich, who recently ended two years as an assistant district attorney in Erie County, will step in as Sharkey's chief prosecutor, assuming the full-time role of first assistant district attorney at $43,000 a year.

In addition to prosecuting felony cases in County Court and preparing cases for grand jury presentations, he will take on the duties of prosecuting cases in town courts in Ellicottville, Hinsdale, Olean and Portville. Four other assistant district attorneys will prosecute cases in other lower courts, each earning about $23,000 a year for their part-time duties.

The new district attorney said he is "excited" about getting to work.

"I've done quite a bit already, meeting with law enforcement agencies regarding various items," he said. "I look forward to trying cases and restoring credibility to the district attorney's office."

Sharkey was sworn in Sunday by Cattaraugus County Judge Michael Nenno in Olean.

During his campaign, Sharkey pointed to several cases that Nevins lost, including the 1995 trial of Dennis Brockenshire of Delevan, who was charged with manslaughter in the 1991 shotgun slaying of his girlfriend's cousin near Lime Lake.

Randy King of Olean helped the Sharkey effort by calling for a change in the district attorney's office in the wake of the stalled prosecution into the death of his brother, Kevin King.

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