DA Swanson Reflects On Lessons Learned In 2018


NOTE: This article is Part Three of a three-part series chronicling WNYNewsNow’s interview with Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson on Friday.
MAYVILLE – The year 2018, for many people, has served as a long, lesson-filled time period. Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson, himself, has learned a lot of lessons both in the courtroom and in the community. 
In an interview Friday with WNYNewsNow, Swanson said he’s relied on his entire professional experience in order to perform his duties.
“Being in this job, I’ve drawn back on my experience of being a defense lawyer in Tennessee, working in the Federal courts, prosecuting cases here in Erie County and prosecuting here,” Swanson said. “What you find in this job is you’re pulling from every area you ever have experience, and that includes drawing back to the days I taught physics and calculus to high school students.”
“You draw on every life experience to do this job. It’s an all-encompassing job. It’s interwoven with community service. I’ve gotten out into the community to talk to a number of groups. We’ve felt like we’ve been very successful with that.”
A district attorney will need to rely on his staff to overcome various challenges, such as a heavy workload. Swanson said, in the past year, he’s learned that his unit is capable of overcoming challenges.
“In the courtroom, you deal with the number of cases we have and you’re hopeful that your staff is able to manage all of that,” Swanson said. “I’ve got an incredible group here, and if there’s really one thing I’ve learned over the last year, is just how great my staff is. I’ve been very fortunate to have the people I have working with me and around me.”
Swanson said he’s very impressed with how law enforcement has worked countywide. Swanson said, because of his work, his office is able to have an easier time in the courtroom. The DA also said that each day has its good and bad moments.
“The other thing you realize in this job is how good our local law enforcement is,” Swanson said. “Those men and women do phenomenal work. We really do have great law enforcement agencies in this county that, in turn, help our office with our cases because when we get quality police work and quality cases, it makes our job that much more easy.”
“There are ups and downs every day. And, it’s really an interesting job. I enjoy it, and I think, mostly this year, I’ve learned how fortunate I am to have a great staff.”

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