The Troy Polloi will state what everyone is thinking: DeAngelis is a disaster as an administrator.
The past few weeks has seen three departures from DeAngelis' office, including that of Jen Sober (the other two resignations have been kept hush-hush). Sober, as everyone knows, is now suing DeAngelis.
Now, it looks like DeAngelis' "confidential assistant" has been collecting a $61,000 salary while attending Russell Sage College. The assistant, Katrin Ellis, attends classes at night (on her own time) but also during the day (on County time).
These allegations wouldn't be so troubling if Ellis was attending to her job duties. According to some, Ellis has been lax in getting her job done. Those complaining include DA Office investigators, who claim Ellis has screwed up payroll. Others claim she has not been available by phone during office hours.
Ellis was originally hired by Ken Bruno in 1997, at a pay rate of $26,000. What she did to deserve double that salary, other than host a DeAngelis fundraiser in 2003, is questionable.
Ellis has decried the allegations, complaining that she has worked long and hard for whatever she has received in life. Funny, that coming from the niece of former Republican County Chairman James Walsh. Out of the many qualified people, we're positive Ellis was the most qualified. Her relationship to Chairman Walsh? Mere coincidence.
Ellis will resign. The problem, DeAngelis herself, remains. It is increasingly obvious that DeAngelis is unable to run the District Attorneys Office. Not everyone is cut out to be an administrator. Mary Donohue, no great shakes in the courtroom, was an adequate administrator. Ken Bruno was smart enough to realize that others should handle the tough cases. DeAngelis has yet to realize that she cannot take on 2 or 3 week, high profile trials and still run the District Attorney's office.
She has also proven to be a liability in the courtroom. DeAngelis has trouble following the Judge's orders. That's not good, especially when it leads to cases being overturned. Still, if she learned to close her mouth when told to, she would be an adequate prosecutor. Outside of Bronx County, DA's continue to have a 95% conviction rate. Prosecuting isn't rocket science. If DeAngelis stopped shooting her mouth off during trial, she would maintain a 95% conviction rate without the danger of her cases being overturned.
It was ridiculous for Ellis to have a $61,000 salary. That money could have been going to an experienced prosecutor. Now, with Sober being fired and two others resigning, they'll need a good, experienced prosecutor.
The Republicans continue to make Rensselaer County their financial playground. This is just another sad example of their corruption.
The District Attorney's Office is imploding. If the trend continues, there will be no one there except inexperienced attorneys fresh out of law school. That would be a greater disaster.