Press-Republican

February 14, 2013

ADA honored for 'exemplary' effort

By FELICIA KRIEG
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Douglas Collyer’s work has gained him state recognition.

He was honored with the 2013 Robert M. Morgenthau Award in late January at the annual Winter Conference of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York in Manhattan.

“I’m humbled and honored and surprised,” Collyer said. “I definitely thank Andy (DA Andrew Wylie) for nominating me and putting his trust in me to really do my job the way I see fit.”

That flexibility enables Collyer, 30, to stay true to what he believes.

“(It’s) the sense that, no matter what, my only job is to do the right thing.”

‘PRESTIGIOUS AWARD’

The award is generally bestowed upon seasoned prosecutors with 20 or more years of experience, Collyer said. 

He has served in the post for five years.

“The Morgenthau award is one of the most prestigious awards an assistant district attorney in New York state can receive,” Clinton County District Attorney Andrew J. Wylie said in a press release. 

“Assistant District Attorney Collyer’s shown devotion in his role as a prosecutor was evident from the beginning of his employment with this office. He is a very thorough prosecutor and an asset to Clinton County.”

Four assistant district attorneys, who each represent a designated area of the state, are honored with the award each year. 

The area that comprises Clinton County extends from the North Country west to Syracuse, south to Albany and also includes Binghamton, Ithaca and Elmira.

Awardees exemplify Morgenthau’s “high standard of honesty, integrity and commitment to justice,” the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office said in the release.

The award, first presented in 2010, is named for former New York County District Attorney Morgenthau, who retired in 2009 after 35 years in office and the prosecution of many high-profile cases. Among his many accomplishments, he was known for his attention not only to violent crime but to white-collar crime in Manhattan, according to the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

ENJOYS JOB

Collyer says he works closely with law enforcement, and the efforts of those officers have contributed to his success.

“They put in the work that makes my job easy,” he said.

Being good at his job is only part of Collyer’s equation for success.

“It comes really back to how much I enjoy my job. I don’t look forward to Friday; I don’t dread Monday.”

And he enjoys living in the North Country, he said.

MANY SUCCESSFUL CASES

Collyer specializes in narcotics and violent felony cases. 

He has successfully handled all vehicular homicides that have occurred in the county in his time as assistant district attorney in Clinton County, among them Joshua Bombardier, who was convicted after trial on charges relating to the death of Veronica LeClair, her son, Stephen Foster, and her stepson, Travis LeClair; and the case of Aaron Trombley, who accepted a plea agreement the morning of trial on charges relating to the deaths of Altona politicians Robert Wood and Robert Lee and serious injuries to Herbert Therrian.

Collyer assisted Wylie with the successful trial prosecutions of three homicide defendants in 2011: Kathryn Shoemaker, who was convicted of the murder of Ravin Miller; Anthony Pavone, found guilty of the double murder of Patricia Howard and Timothy Carter; and Edward Dashnaw, who killed David and Lorraine Donivan.

Since October 2009, Collyer has prosecuted more than 200 narcotics and marijuana cases in Clinton County Court.

‘EXCELLENT WORK ETHIC’

In the nomination for the award, his office cited his excellent work ethic and superior caseload preparation, saying he has earned the respect of the judiciary, local law enforcement and the Clinton County defense bar.

Collyer grew up in Glens Falls and graduated from Western New England University before earning his law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law.

Before becoming an assistant district attorney in Clinton County in October 2009, he was a prosecutor with the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.

He interned with that office in the summer of 2007.

Reflecting on his short but successful career thus far, Collyer said, “I like coming to work every day and doing this.”

Email Felicia Krieg: fkrieg@pressrepublican.com