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Young, Goodell and DA candidate Schmidt speak at GOP fundraiser

May 19, 2016
Westfield Republican

Winery in Westfield on Friday evening, state Sen. Catharine Young, Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and Chautauqua County District Attorney candidate Jason Schmidt stated their accomplishments and goals for Chautauqua County during a Republican Party fundraiser hosted by the Westfield Republican Committee.

Young, chair of the New York Senate Finance Committee, spoke of her efforts along with those of Goodell to ensure that the Athenex Biotech Plant would be approved in this year's state budget. The plant, which will be built in Dunkirk, will manufacture sterile high-potency oncology drugs in a specialized and controlled environment. Athenex, a specialty oncology drug manufacturing company based in the U.S., is mainly engaged in the development and production of next-generation therapies for cancer diseases. The project is expected to generate 900 jobs in areas such as high-tech manufacturing and product formulation. Although based in Dunkirk, the plant will be an economic engine for the entire county.

In addition to the Athenex plant, Young and Goodell also spoke of their legislative efforts pertaining to ethics reform in Albany, and their continuing work in moving the economy forward in Chautauqua County. Young and Goodell also addressed the important role Congressman Tom Reed has played in the region, which was explained further by Jacqueline Phelps, regional director for Reed.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Assemblyman Andy Goodell, District Attorney Candidate Jason Schmidt, and Senator Catharine Young pose outside of Noble Winery in Westfield.

Following the speeches of Young and Goodell, Schmidt outlined four of his proposals for the District Attorney's Office that he would implement immediately upon taking office. Schmidt would create a Narcotics Enforcement Team ("NET") within the office to focus exclusively on narcotics-related prosecutions, utilizing sophisticated investigative tools routinely employed by other prosecuting offices outside Chautauqua County to obtain better convictions in the current drug crisis.

Schmidt would immediately change the District Attorney's felony case assignment policy from one which is primarily jurisdiction-based to one primarily centered around crime classifications in order for prosecutors to concentrate and hone skills and knowledge in specific areas of criminal law so the District Attorney's Office can obtain the best possible convictions on behalf of the community. Schmidt would also change long standing policy so that defendants are evaluated for Drug Treatment Court, with input from police, at or immediately after arraignment rather than months into the criminal court process as is currently occurring in Chautauqua County. Finally, Schmidt would place more emphasis on direct indictments rather than filing of felony complaints, and less on pre-indictment conferences in order to dramatically shorten the life of felony cases.

In addition to the large group of residents from Westfield and surrounding communities, also present were a number of elected officials. This included Town of Westfield Supervisor Martha Bills, Town of Westfield Councilmen David Brown and Ray Schuster, Town of Westfield Highway Superintendent David Babcock, Village of Westfield Trustees Al Holbrook and Jill Santi, Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan, Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore, Chautauqua County Republican Committee Chairman Allan Hendrickson, Chautauqua County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Brian Abram and Chautauqua County Legislators John Hemmer, David Himelein, Kevin Muldowney, Elizabeth Rankin, Lisa Vanstrom and David Wilfong.



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