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Senior Staffer Resigns From Berkshire DA Office, Citing Legal Concerns

The door of the Berkshire District Attorney's office.
Josh Landes

The Berkshire County District Attorney office's public records officer has resigned in protest and become a whistleblower about the office’s culture.

DA Andrea Harrington tapped Salem-based attorney Jeanne Kempthorne for the job in 2018. But Kempthorne says that she felt the office’s priorities were skewed for some time.

“Increasingly I felt that political considerations or personal considerations – things other than legal considerations – were playing too large a role," said Kempthorne. "That was my sense as time went on. I raised concerns about it repeatedly, and I did not feel they were addressed.”

The legal veteran of nearly four decades says when Harrington told her to ignore a request from the Berkshire Eagle for public files, it led her to blow the whistle on the DA’s office and resign. The Eagle first reported the resignation Friday. The DA’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from WAMC.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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