Judge Smith turns 70 this year, and is thus required by New York State law to step down from his elected post on December 31st, 2015. Judge Smith’s successor will be chosen by Broome County voters in the General Election to be held on November 3rd.
Mr. Dooley joined exactly 84 supporters (we did an official head count in the interest of providing an accurate number to the media) who had gathered in The Confluence Room at Terra Cotta, a banquet and catering facility at 81 State Street in downtown Binghamton. He was formally introduced by his friend and former colleague, Assistant U. S. Attorney Miro Lovric.*
In his prepared remarks, Mr. Lovric described Mr. Dooley as a career public servant with nearly 35 years of experience as a felony prosecutor, serving for seventeen years in the Office of the Broome County District Attorney – where he rose through the ranks from Assistant D. A. to Sr. Assistant to Chief Assistant – and serving another seventeen years as an Assistant U. S. Attorney in the Binghamton Office of the U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York.
“Mr. Dooley has taken
100 felony prosecutions to trial
in Broome County Court –
more felony trials than any other prosecutor
in local history.”
– Miro Lovric
Mr. Lovric described Mr. Dooley as “one of the hardest-working and most successful prosecutors in the history of the Broome County D. A.’s Office.” Serving under D. A.’s Patrick Monserrate, Patrick Matthews and Gerald Mollen, Mr. Dooley “distinguished himself,” said Mr. Lovric, “with his expert prosecution of the most serious and complex felony cases in our community.” He called attention to Mr. Dooley’s record – unbroken to this date – as having taken 100 felony prosecutions to trial in Broome County Court, more felony trials than any other prosecutor in local history.
According to Mr. Lovric, Mr. Dooley distinguished himself in the U. S. Attorney’s Office as well. “He was entrusted by his superiors with the toughest and most challenging cases,” Mr. Lovric said.
“Violent crimes, such as bank robberies and truck hijackings, narcotics distribution conspiracies and child exploitation. White-collar crimes too – health care fraud, investment fraud, and tax evasion.”
* Following U. S. Department of Justice guidelines, Assistant U. S. Attorney Lovric took part in Kevin Dooley’s campaign kickoff strictly as a private citizen and not as a representative of the U. S. Attorney’s Office. Mr. Lovric is a longtime resident of Broome County, where he is also registered to vote.
But it was when the Justice Department sought federal prosecutors to serve on a special mission in Iraq, Mr. Lovric said, that “Kevin’s trustworthiness came into sharpest focus.”
Mr. Dooley served for two years in Iraq – from April of 2005 through March of 2007 – as a key member of the Regime Crime Liaison’s Office (RCLO). The RCLO was a special mission created by a National Security Directive from the President of the United States and tasked with providing technical and legal support to the Iraqi court that prosecuted Saddam Hussein, Chemical Ali, and top members of Saddam’s regime for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
“With the exception of my two years of service
in Iraq from 2005 to 2007, I’ve handled
felony crimes in Broome County
on a continuous, day-to-day basis
for more than three decades...
– Kevin Dooley
“Within just eight months Kevin earned the trust of everyone he worked with,” Mr. Lovric said, “including the Attorney General of the United States, who elevated Kevin from Attorney/Advisor to Deputy Regime Crimes Liaison to Regime Crimes Liaison – putting him in charge of the entire U. S. RCLO mission.”
Mr. Lovric pointed out that as Regime Crimes Liaison Mr. Dooley supervised “eighteen attorneys, 25 FBI agents, 22 translators, a dozen or more paralegals and support staff, and more than 50 Iraqi personnel. In 2006 alone,” Mr. Lovric said, “Kevin was responsible for decisions concerning $66 million in mission expenses.”
“As a prosecutor, it has been my ethical duty
to ‘seek justice, not merely convict’ –
a responsibility that I take very seriously.
I have always been guided by that principle
in evaluating and prosecuting
the cases entrusted to me.”
– Kevin Dooley
Upon completing his mission in Iraq, Mr. Dooley returned to the U. S. Attorney’s Office in Binghamton, “where he served another eight years,” Mr. Lovric said, “continuing, in particular, his responsibilities as Criminal Civil Rights Coordinator for the entire Northern Disctrict of New York.” Mr. Lovric recounted one particular civil rights case that he said showed the measure of Mr. Dooley’s commitment to the law and his sense of fairness and justice. “Kevin’s investigation led to his prosecuting – and convicting – a Tioga County Jail corrections lieutenant for assaulting an inmate and violating his civil rights. No one is above the law, and Kevin wasn’t about to let this officer walk just because he was a member of the law enforcement community.”
Mr. Lovric summarized his introduction of the candidate with a description of his friend and former colleague as being “the very definition of the word ‘trustworthy’… Kevin has earned our trust, and he has earned our support.”
After Mr. Lovric’s introduction, Mr. Dooley thanked him for his “kind words,” and thanked his supporters for coming to his campaign kickoff.
Mr. Dooley went on to express his gratitude to the individuals “who gave me the opportunity to serve, and who entrusted me with more and more responsibility” – from District Attorneys Patrick Monserrate, Patrick Matthews, and Gerald Mollen, to his supervisors in the Justice Department, including the Attorney General of the United States. “I was also very fortunate to have had the chance to work with a lot of very talented prosecutors early in my career, like Gary Sharpe and Ferris Lebous, from whom I learned there is no substitute for hard work.”
Mr. Dooley shared a summary of his career assignments, including his service as Regime Crimes Liaison in Iraq, before speaking of his decision to run for County Court. “I’ve been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve both my community here in Broome County and my country abroad, Mr. Dooley said. “And while my seventeen years in the U. S. Attorney’s Office have been professionally rewarding, I have always hoped to serve my community as County Court Judge. With Judge Smith’s anticipated retirement, that opportunity has presented itself.”
“Because of a federal law known as the Hatch Act, which prohibited me as a federal employee from running for elected office,” Mr. Dooley said, “I chose to give up my job as an Assistant U. S. Attorney earlier this year.” When Jerry Mollen asked Mr. Dooley to return to the Broome County D. A.’s Office upon his resignation as Assistant U. S. Attorney, “I was honored to accept his offer. Since February 2nd I’ve been employed once again as a member of his senior staff. It’s my intention to serve in the D. A.’s Office until, with the support of the voters, I’m elected to serve on the County Court bench.”
“I’ve been very fortunate
to have had the opportunity to serve
both my community here in Broome County
and my country abroad.
And while the last seventeen years
in the U. S. Attorney’s Office
have been professionally rewarding,
I have always hoped to serve my community
as County Court Judge.”
– Kevin Dooley
“The primary responsibility of a Broome County Court Judge is to preside over the disposition of felony cases for crimes committed in our county,” Mr. Dooley said. “With the exception of my two years of service in Iraq from 2005 to 2007, I’ve handled felony crimes in Broome County on a continuous, day-to-day basis for more than three decades. I have an in-depth knowledge of New York’s criminal statutes and procedures. As a prosecutor, it has been my ethical duty to ‘seek justice, not merely convict’ – a responsibility that I take very seriously. I have always been guided by that principle in evaluating and prosecuting the cases entrusted to me.”
“As a trial attorney I know from experience what qualities make for a good judge,” Mr. Dooley said to his supporters. “I feel confident that my experience has provided me with the necessary tools to serve. I’ve spent my entire career working for the betterment of our community through the criminal justice system, and that’s why I’m formally announcing my candidacy for Broome County Court Judge. I believe the voters of Broome County can trust me, as others have trusted me throughout my career,
to do the job, and to do it well. Thank you all for your support!”