POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – James Fedorchak is set to retire as a Dutchess Attorney at the end of the month, and Assistant District Attorney Caroline Blackburn has been appointed to replace him, according to District Manager Marc Molinaro.
Blackburn would be the first woman to practice law in Dutchess County, Molinaro said in a press release. Their appointment must be confirmed by the district legislature.
Blackburn will become acting district attorney effective November 1, before lawmakers have their first opportunity to ratify them.
"Jim Fedorchak has led the Dutchess County's prosecutor's office with professionalism, integrity and commitment for the past decade," Molinaro said in a statement. "We are grateful to Jim for his wise advice and continued guidance. We wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement."
Fedorchak was appointed district attorney in February 2010 after a career in private practice.
Blackburn began as a legal intern in the Dutchess County government as she was working towards graduation from Albany Law School. After graduating in 2011, Blackburn returned to Poughkeepsie where she joined a local law firm with a private practice specializing in labor law, education law, and special needs education. She returned to the Dutchess County government as an assistant district attorney in 2013 and became chief assistant in 2017.
"Caroline's experience, her strong analytical and communication skills and her commitment make her the right person to take on this crucial role," said Molinaro.
The Dutchess district attorney is the only district legal advisor. prepares legal documents and instruments for the district government; prepares memoranda and opinions on local laws, resolutions and legalization acts; and prosecute and defend civil matters or proceedings in which the county and its entities, including its officials, are involved.