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Who will be acting DA in Cayuga County? Concerns over appointment persist

The Cayuga County Deputy Sheriff’s Police Association has released a letter, which was sent to Governor Kathy Hochul, after the acting district attorney there said she was targeted for removal from her temporary post due to political affiliation.

Acting District Attorney Brittany Grome Antonacci said in a Facebook post earlier this month that local Democrats, and Governor Hochul were using their political authority to put a Democrat in the position.

An election is scheduled in the fall for the position of Cayuga County District Attorney, after former District Attorney Jon Budelmann won an election for Cayuga County Judge in 2021, and assumed that role in 2022.

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“It has recently come to our attention that your office has taken steps in an attempt to remove our current Acting District Attorney Brittany Grome Antonacci from her position solely because her political affiliation is different from your own. Our membership strongly denounces such an attempt to disrupt the efficiency of public safety in our community,” the letter from the Cayuga County Deputy Sheriff’s Police Association reads. “Our membership, along with the District Attorneys Office, works tirelessly every day to ensure a safe community for all citizens of Cayuga County. The District Attorney and her staff have worked hard to prosecute strong cases put together by our membership for the common goal of justice. We all take pride in our community and the work we do on a daily basis. This however cannot be done without a strong working relationship with the District Attorneys Office. Such a sudden change in the District Attorney’s Office would certainly have a negative effect on public safety in our community, disrupting pending cases many of which have been ongoing for well over a year. Our members are proud to have a strong working relationship with the District Attorneys Office and we actively work together on a daily basis towards the common good. Our relationship is built on years of trust and experience, regardless of political affiliation.”

They say politics has no place in public safety.

RELATED: Debating the appointment in Cayuga County on The Debrief Podcast

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

“Politics has absolutely no place in the public safety of our great community. We feel that this unnecessary interruption in removing the leader of the District Attorneys Office for the sole purpose of a political gain would be doing a disservice to our community,” the letter continues. “We ask that you please refrain from interfering with our District Attorneys Office and allow members of our community to pick who they feel is best fit to lead the Office on Election Day. Until then, allow the members of our District Attorneys Office to continue to their highly respected and invaluable work uninterrupted towards making our community a safe and secure environment for all.”

When Grome Antonacci made the claim, the chair of the Democratic Party in Cayuga County told The Citizen that the party had discussed the vacancy with Governor Hochul’s office, but that was all. “Miss Antonacci really thinks that she is very entitled to this job when she’s only had it for a few weeks and she’s only lived in town for a few months,” Dia Carabajal said. “I don’t have any more information than anyone else has … Miss Antonacci should spend her time unpacking and meeting the people of Cayuga County.”