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Romney considering five candidates as interim Berkshire DA

The Associated Press
1/6/2004, 12:37 p.m. ET

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- Two Republicans and three Democrats are being considered by Gov. Mitt Romney for appointment as Berkshire County District Attorney, The Berkshire Eagle reported.

The candidates include three sons of judges, one of whom has been practicing law for three years.

Gerard Downing, 52, who had served as district attorney since 1990, suffered a fatal heart attack in the snow-covered driveway of his Pittsfield home last month.

The Republican governor's appointee would serve until a new district attorney, elected in November, takes office in January 2005.

The candidates, interviewed last week, include Richard M. Dohoney, a 29-year-old Republican born in Great Barrington who currently works for the Boston law firm of Morrison, Mahoney & Miller.

Dohoney, who was admitted to the Massachusetts bar on Jan. 1, 2001, is the only candidate who had not worked for Downing. However, he served as an intern in the Suffolk District Attorney's office.

His late father, James Dohoney, was a District Court and Superior Court judge in the Berkshires.

Dohoney told the Eagle he was honored to be considered, but declined further comment.

Romney is also considering David F. Capeless, Clement A. Ferris Jr., Robert C. Sacco and Timothy J. Shugrue :shock: , the Eagle reported.

Capeless, of West Stockbridge, had served as Downing's top assistant for the past 13 years. Prior to that he spent eight years as a prosecutor in Middlesex County.

A Democrat, Capeless has said he plans to run for the post in November.

Ferris, who is currently assistant register of the Berkshire Family and Probate Court, worked for Downing in the late 1990s. The Democrat is the son of former Pittsfield District Court Judge Clement A. Ferris, who retired in 1990.

Sacco, a Republican who currently works for the Holyoke law firm of Lyon & Fitzpatrick, was an assistant prosecutor under Downing for a year. His father, Rudolph A. Sacco, is a former Probate and Family Court judge.

Shugrue, a Pittsfield criminal defense attorney, previously worked for both the Berkshire and Hampden district attorneys' offices. A Democrat, he is also a co-founder of the Berkshire County Kids' Place, a nonprofit organization that provides services to child abuse victims.

Maybe they should have offered it to Betsy, eh Mark?
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