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SEP 22 - SEP 29, 2015

Connors, LaTona Say Sedita Was Responsible, Effective DA

By Tony Farina

SEP 22, 2015

Niagara Falls native Joseph LaTona has high regard for DA Frank Sedita
Safeguard of Liberty: Erie County DA Frank Sedita is known to seek justice, not convictions, and protect due process rights, a cause of criticism in some quarters.
Balancing Act. Attorney Terry Connors has praise for Sedita's adherence to the concept of justice for victims and the accused.


Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita has his share of critics, but two of the area’s most highly respected defense attorneys, Terrence Connors and Joseph LaTona, spoke highly of the soon-to-be State Supreme Court judge who is expected to be cross-endorsed by the judicial nominating conventions later this week.

I contacted both Connors and LaTona to get their thoughts on Sedita who has served as district attorney for the last seven years, and they both agreed to speak on the record.

Connors said that while he has disagreed professionally with Sedita on a regular basis, “I cannot disagree with the fact that he has been an ethical, effective prosecutor.  It is sadly ironic that he is criticized for not taking the ‘tough cases’ when he is statutorily, ethically and constitutionally mandated to pursue cases only where there is sufficient evidence.”

LaTona sounded the same theme, saying “people should realize [the DA] is vested with prosecutorial discretion, and I would rather have him not prosecute cases if in fact he has second thoughts of proving guilt.”  LaTona said it is commendable for a prosecutor to show restraint when restraint is exactly what the evidence, or lack thereof, is called for.

LaTona said he has dealt with the Sedita family for many years, and said the current district attorney has always acted in a professional and responsible fashion.  The Sedita family has long been prominent in local public service with the district attorney’s grandfather, Frank A. Sedita, serving as a three-term Buffalo mayor and his father, Frank A. Sedita Jr., serving as a Buffalo Housing Court judge and a State Supreme Court judge before reaching mandatory retirement age shortly before his death in June of 2013.

Perhaps Connors best summed up District Attorney Frank Sedita’s career as the county’s chief prosecutor, saying “he should be commended for not taking cases where the evidence is borderline.  Reckless prosecutors ruin lives and take away reputations that can never be regained.  Careful prosecutors preserve our constitution.”






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Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina