© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Suffolk County’s new Republican DA will work with bail reform and has recruited Democratic staffers

Republican Ray Tierney is elected the new Suffolk County District Attorney. He defeated incumbent Democrat Tim Sini.
J.D. Allen
WSHU Public Radio
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney

Suffolk County’s newly sworn-in district attorney, Republican Ray Tierney, announced his leadership team, including several Democratic staffers. He’s also taking a more measured approach to bail reform compared to other Republicans on Long Island.

Tierney won an upset victory along with a wave of other Republicans who campaigned largely against the state’s bail reform laws. However, in a departure from his Republican counterpart in Nassau, Anne Donnelly, Tierney says he doesn’t plan on lobbying against the laws.

“They don't help to keep us more safe, so I want to talk about these laws, I don't want to use them as an excuse and I want to operate within the system we have to be as effective as possible for my constituents,” Tierney said.

Tierney also picked two prosecutors for his leadership team who left Nassau’s District Attorney’s office when Donnelly came in — Jed Painter and Laura Carrol. New faces in his office include Chief Assistant DA Allen Bode , a career federal prosecutor, and Christopher Clayton, who comes most recently from private practice. Tierney also promoted or retained a number of high ranking prosecutors from former Democratic DA Tim Sini’s tenure, including Leslie Anderson, Megan O’Donnell and Catherine Loeffler.

“One of my platforms that I ran on was that I was going to be independent from the other Suffolk County agencies. I was also going to pick the staff that I thought were the most competent law enforcement figures. So if you told me that I have a lot of Democrats on my staff, I'll take your word for it,” Tierney said.

Tierney is also forming a specialized unit focused on gangs and gun violence, which will be led by James Slattery, a former prosecutor from the Brooklyn DA’s office.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.