Montgomery County

Longtime Montgomery County DA to retire when term is up

District Attorney Jed Conboy will retire from his post at the conclusion of his term in December, he
During a 2012 press conference at Amsterdam Police Headquarters, Montgomery County District Attorney Jed Conboy announces an indictment. State police Senior Inv. David F. Madden Jr. is at left.
During a 2012 press conference at Amsterdam Police Headquarters, Montgomery County District Attorney Jed Conboy announces an indictment. State police Senior Inv. David F. Madden Jr. is at left.

District Attorney Jed Conboy will retire from his post at the conclusion of his term in December, he said this week.

Conboy, 62, has been Montgomery County’s top prosecutor for more than two decades and with the office since 1983. His fifth full four-year term ends Dec. 31.

“Thirty-three years prosecuting, 21 as district attorney, I just decided that it’s time to do something else with my life,” Conboy in his Fonda office this week.

Conboy, of St. Johnsville, first won appointment to the post by Gov. George Pataki in 1996 after his predecessor, Guy Tomlinson, won a state Supreme Court judgeship. Conboy, a Republican, then won a full term that fall unopposed, and he ran unopposed in his four elections since.

Two of his assistants are being mentioned as possibly being interested in running. Both are Democrats.

Kelli McCoski, 55, who’s been an assistant in the office since 2008, confirmed Friday she is interested in running.

Howard M. Aison, 70, who rejoined the office earlier this year after 30 years in various judicial posts, is also being mentioned as a possibility. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

Conboy runs the small office and prosecutes many cases himself. He will be taking the prosecution of Michael Donyell Norwood, the 39-year-old former Schenectady resident accused last week of killing girlfriend Beth Ann Logan in Amsterdam.

Conboy has prosecuted his share of other high-profile cases over the years. He convicted Charles Toland in 2001 of the 1994 killing of Paulette Dempster. Teens Anthony Brasmeister and Matt Phelps pleaded guilty in 2013 to the shooting deaths of fellow teens Paul Damphier, 16, and Jonathan DeJesus, 13, the year before.

Conboy convicted St. Johnsville farmer Robert Madsen last year for sexually abusing six Amish boys. He also won a guilty plea from Ontario trucker Gary Blakley last year in the December 2013 crash that killed state trooper David Cunniff.

McCoski said she expects to formally announce her plans by the end of the month. She’s been a part-time assistant district attorney in both Fulton and Montgomery counties since 2008, as well as working in private practice. She previously served as Montgomery County public defender, county social services attorney and as Montgomery County attorney, among other posts.

Aison, if he chooses to run, would bring with him his own long resume. He spent much of the past 20 years as an Amsterdam City Court judge after time as County Court judge. He first became a judge in 1986 — after serving as Montgomery County District Attorney.

For his part, Conboy said he is looking forward to extended time off once his term is complete.

“In a small office; you’re on call 24/7/365,” Conboy said. “I’ve never been able to take a two-week vacation, because you can’t spend that much time out of the office.”

As for what he might do after he is done, Conboy looked south to Cooperstown. He is an avid baseball fan and a fan of the New York Mets specifically. He said he’s thinking about applying for a part-time job at the Hall of Fame.

Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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