|Caccaviello Officially Kicks Off Campaign For District Attorney|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
03:56AM / Friday, May 04, 2018
|Backed by supporters, Paul Caccaviello kicked off his campaign on Thursday for district attorney. |
Caccaviello has worked in the Berkshire District Attorney's office for almost 30 years.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — If wisdom comes from experience, Paul Caccaviello says his 30 years of working in the district attorney's office has given him the wisdom to lead it.
Caccaviello is currently the district attorney after David Capeless resigned from the post earlier this year. The former first assistant district attorney took to the Berkshire Superior Courthouse steps on Thursday to officially kick off his campaign for the job.
"You should not expect political jargon or spin, buzzwords and vague talking points, from your candidate. You should expect decisions based on the truth and a sincere and sustained quest to serve the public from anyone seeking to be your district attorney. That's what you will get from me," Caccaviello said.
The 53-year old Caccaviello is running against Andrea Harrington and Judith Knight in the Democratic primary on Sept. 4, a contest that will essentially decide the winner. He is a Pittsfield native who graduated from Berkshire Community College, the former North Adams State College, and Western New England College School of Law.
"I am so grateful for the day I walked into the office of the district attorney. I met with then DA Anthony Ruberto Jr., ever so grateful for his decision to take me on as an intern. In some ways today is a little deja vu some 30 years later," Caccaviello said.
He was hired as an assistant district attorney in 1989 and has worked under four different Berkshire district attorneys since. With Capeless' resignation, Gov. Charlie Baker appointed Caccaviello to step into the role in March. But he still remembers when Ruberto had asked him why he wanted to work at the office; Caccaviello said he wanted to serve the public.
"In our pursuit of public service, we achieved success because of the team approach to prosecutions, our victim advocates, successful because of the tremendous work of our law enforcement agencies. With each opportunity and every success my commitment to public service grew stronger and more well-rooted," Caccaviello said.
As a prosecutor, he has taken on cases from as simple as larceny and misdemeanors to murders without bodies and decades-old rapes.
"Those experiences and so many more gave me 30 years of blessings. They inform my judgment and for that I am grateful. Those lessons will be invaluable to me in serving this community as your next district attorney," Caccaviello said.
Particularly, Caccaviello said he has learned how to balance when to use compassion and when to use consequences.
"Others seeking your vote cannot know the challenges and awesome responsibility of balancing compassion and consequence. Consequence for those who violate the law and reject community standards and compassion for those who earnestly and honestly try to earn a second chance. They have simply not acquired the wisdom or the judgment to know the difference," Caccaviello said.
That was one of Caccaviello's main talking points on Thursday, as he was flanked by county police chiefs, those working in the district attorney's office, members of the sheriff's department, and his family. He believes what really separates him from the other candidates is that experience.
"There is one thing we will not be able to share and that's experience. They cannot draw upon the experience that I can of sitting across from mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence, across from siblings who lost a brother or sister, of explaining the process, explaining the challenges that must be met and overcome before we ever enter a courtroom to seek justice," Caccaviello said.
Caccaviello focused on the wisdom he gained throughout his career.
"They do not know what it means to sit across from a victim of a rape by her husband, explaining what her role will be in bringing the accused to justice. It means describing in excruciating detail the most agonizing, the most personal, most criminal of details sitting in front of the accused. And then that she must remain on the witness stand only to be further questioned by the accused's lawyer. All in a public setting and all for the world to see."
He said he's been in the position of gaining the trust of children who were sexually abused by someone they had trusted in order to bring the perpetrator to justice. He's met with the families of those who had their children die of a drug overdose after purchasing from a friend.
But, Caccaviello said he also knows that prosecution and protection alone will not make for a better community.
"A proactive approach matters equally in what we do, have been doing, and will continue to do. It is the genesis of the community outreach department that started over a decade ago," Caccaviello said.
"We in the Da's office are not latecomers to the conversation. We started on this path under Gerard Downing and continued under David Capeless. I will continue that walk and I will hasten its pace."
That program works with area youth and in schools to provide training, mentoring, and life skills. Caccaviello said many times the issues that ultimately lead to a crime stem way before the courtroom and that's what those outreach efforts are hoping to curb.
With Thursday's launch, the campaign kicks off in earnest.
"I know I have to earn the confidence of the votes from Adams to Sheffield, from Clarksburg to Egremont, and the residents of the larger populations of Pittsfield, North Adams, and Great Barrington to the smaller populations of Alford and Florida and everything in between," Caccaviello said.