After appointment by Baker, Caccaviello seeks voters' approval for district attorney

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PITTSFIELD — Recently-appointed Berkshire District Attorney Paul J. Caccaviello officially made September's primary election for district attorney a three-person race by announcing his candidacy Thursday evening.

Caccaviello, 53, made the announcement in front of the Berkshire Superior Courthouse, flanked by his wife, Karen, and his daughter, Grace, representatives of the county's Sheriff's Office and various police departments, including Lenox, Stockbridge, Hinsdale and Lanesborough, as well as members of his staff and the assistant district attorneys.

"They are the best, they are the brightest, they are here, and I'm proud to call them colleagues," Caccaviello said.

During his approximately 15-minute speech, Caccaviello didn't mention his two primary candidates — attorneys Andrea Harrington and Judith Knight — by name, but instead drew a distinction between his experience and theirs.

"I expect that there will be other candidates we will see along the way to the voting booth," he said. "I look forward to listening to them, perhaps even sharing some ideals with them."

"But there is one thing we will not be able to share," Caccaviello continued. "And that's experience.

"They cannot draw from the experience as I can, sitting across from mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence, across from siblings who have lost their brother or sister.

"Others seeking your vote cannot know the challenges and the awesome responsibility of balancing compassion with consequence," he said.

He touted his experience prosecuting different types of cases over his nearly 30-year career, from relatively minor misdemeanors to kidnappings, sexual assaults and homicides.

Caccaviello praised the relationships among his office and community partners and service providers including The Elizabeth Freeman Center, The Brien Center, Kids' Place and Berkshire Health Systems.

"I welcome advisers, mentors and community leaders who will help me on my journey, which is really our journey," he said.

"I have a vision for the county," he said. "I will not stand for violence, lawlessness or crimes against our citizens.

"This is our community, and you deserve nothing less," he said.

Caccaviello was appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker as the county's top prosecutor in March, after former Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless announced his retirement.

Caccaviello, Knight and Harrington are all running as Democrats in the Sept. 4 primary. The winner will go on to the general election in November, though no GOP or independent candidates have yet come forward to express an intention to run.

Caccaviello is a 1982 graduate of Pittsfield High School and graduated from the Western New England School of Law in Springfield in 1989.

After graduation, he was hired as an assistant district attorney by then-District Attorney Anthony J. Ruberto Jr., and continued to serve as an assistant district attorney under Robert J. Carnes, Gerard D. Downing and Capeless.

In 2008, Caccaviello was named prosecutor of the year by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, for the prosecution of Damien Lamb, convicted of a 2005 murder in which the body was never found.

He was also recognized by the National Crime Victims' Rights Week event for his prosecution of Father Gary Mercure, a former Catholic priest convicted of sexual assaults from 20 years earlier, and served as co-counsel in the prosecution of Adam Hall, David Chalue and Caius Veiovis, convicted of a 2011 triple murder.

He was recognized for those efforts by the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. Capeless was lead counsel in those cases.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.


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