After being sworn in to his seventh term Tuesday, Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney listed the many changes in his profession and his county since he first took office nearly a quarter-century ago.
Those changes range from DNA testing and electronic evidence to an array of 140 street surveillance cameras and the makeup of his staff.
“I think it’s a fair comment to say there’s been more change in my 24 years in office than the combined experience of my 38 predecessors,” Carney said, “and there’s no reason to believe that the rate and pace of change will abate.”
“And I can tell you we will not let up,” Carney added. “We will continue to innovate.”
Carney won re-election in November to a post he was first elected to in 1989.
He started as the second-youngest district attorney in the state, Carney noted, and is now the fourth-most senior district attorney — though Carney, 59, quickly added he wasn’t the fourth-oldest. Only the district attorneys of Dutchess, Broome and Bronx counties have served longer, according to the district attorney’s office.
Also sworn in Tuesday was Kevin Burke, the county’s newest Family Court judge. Burke took the oath of office at the Schenectady County Courthouse. He ran unopposed in November after beating a primary opponent.
Schenectady County Sheriff Dominic Dagostino will be sworn in to his new term today.
In addition to heading the District Attorney’s Office, Carney has continued to handle cases in the courtroom. Carney is taking the lead in the prosecution of Michael Briggs, accused of killing 82-year-old former nun Mary Greco in Schenectady a year ago. Briggs’ trial is set to begin in March. Carney will be assisted by prosecutor John Healy.
Carney was sworn in during a ceremony at the George E. Franchere Educational Center in Rotterdam Junction, next to the Mabee Farm historic site. Carney is a member of the Schenectady County Historical Society’s Board of Directors.
Carney’s 90-year-old mother, Marjorie, held the Bible as he was sworn in, with the assistance of chief Assistant District Attorney Philip W. Mueller and Assistant District Attorney Gerald A. Dwyer.
Carney was sworn in by Schenectady City Court Judge Matthew Sypniewski, one of five former members of Carney’s staff to have ascended to the bench during Carney’s tenure.