DA Asks Judge To Step Down From All Cases Involving Her Office


St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain has asked county court Judge Jerome Richards to disqualify himself in all cases involving the prosecutor's office.

Rain's request disrupted the start of county court Monday morning.

Rain says she feels the judge can't be neutral in his decision-making and could be biased against her office.

Richards denied the request after a brief recess.

Rain's application is "subject to renewal if the situation changes," the judge said.

Richards disqualified himself last week from appointing a special prosecutor in an investigation Rain launched over drug asset forfeiture funds spent by the county in the last 10 years.

That includes the time when Richards was district attorney.

Rain claims county officials -- including Administrator Karen St. Hilaire, former District Attorney Nicole Duve and Richards when he was DA -- improperly spent money seized from drug dealers on sound equipment for the county legislature's chambers.

Rain also wants to know why county officials did not apply for money from New York state this year, money the county has received for the last 15 years, money which pays for the salaries of two people in the DA's office.

Sunday, December 11, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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