Berkshire District Attorney | WAMC

Berkshire District Attorney

A crowd of young people mill in front of an entrance with "TACONIC" spelled out in metal over it
Pittsfield Public Schools / http://www.pittsfield.net/

On Thursday, a junior varsity baseball coach at Taconic High School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on multiple charges related to sexual misconduct with students at the school. WAMC spoke with Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington about the case, and why she thinks more allegations against Scott Nimons could emerge. Neither the school nor the superintendent immediately responded to request for comment.

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

This week, Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington announced that she is instating a formal Brady disclosure policy for her office. The new guidelines will establish how prosecutors turn over exculpatory evidence favorable to the accused over to the defense. It also creates a team to review the process, as well as requesting that county law enforcement provide findings of bias and racial profiling, and more. Harrington tells WAMC that the new policy is meant to increase her office’s transparency and strengthen community faith in the criminal justice system.

A headshot of a woman with black hair in front of a grey backdrop
City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Pittsfield, Massachusetts City Councilor Helen Moon is no longer an employee in the Berkshire County District Attorney’s office.

Andrea Harrington stands at a podium in a law library flanked by law enforcement officials (file photo)
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington opposes a clause in the police reform bill before the Massachusetts House.

Two white women sit at a wooden table in a book-lined room.
Josh Landes / WAMC

In June, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed with Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington that judges can extend pre-trial holdings on defendants who are deemed to pose a risk to their communities. The issue clarifies one of the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, with all jury trials suspended until at least September. WAMC spoke to Harrington about why she advocated for the expanded ability for pre-trial holdings.

A woman in a blue suit stands in front of a set of stone stairs
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington says two arrests have been made in relation to a phone scam that netted the suspects at least $300,000.

A white woman stands in a sun-dappled park with a mic in her hand with people around her
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington was elected in 2018 on a progressive platform of criminal justice reform and community-oriented law enforcement. She took part in demonstrations over the weekend that called for an end to police brutality against African-Americans spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. Harrington spoke to WAMC about how she’s preparing her office during a historic period of social unrest, and why she disagrees with the county’s sheriff about decarceration.

A woman in a blue suit stands at a microphone-covered podium in a booklined room
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington says an increased amount of fentanyl-laced heroin has hit area streets. The Democrat spoke with WAMC Thursday about the connection between the batch and rising overdoses in the region, as well as increasing domestic violence rates and the coming arraignment of a Great Barrington police officer for drunk driving in April.

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

The closure of public offices across Massachusetts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is forcing key elements of the state’s legal infrastructure to adapt. Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington says her office is continuing to work while respecting the restrictive public health measures. Harrington spoke with WAMC.

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

The Berkshire District Attorney’s office says a Pittsfield man was killed Tuesday after being hit by a train on a stretch of railroad tracks between South Church Street and Mill Street. 

The Berkshire County District Attorney’s office has closed its investigation into the March 2019 quadruple murder-suicide in Sheffield, Massachusetts that sent shockwaves through the community. Now, newly released documents are shedding some light on the family at the center of the tragedy. A warning – the details of this story are upsetting, and may not be appropriate for all listeners.

A woman in a blue suit stands at a microphone-covered podium in a booklined room
Josh Landes / WAMC

More details have been released on a bizarre death in Adams, Massachusetts involving a pit bull attack and a crossbow.

The Berkshire County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force was launched by District Attorney Andrea Harrington in April 2019. It unveiled its first initiative last fall – a community read of Rachel Louise Snyder’s “No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us.” Snyder – a reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post and on This American Life – will be in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the Colonial Theater February 6th to talk about the book. She spoke with WAMC about what compelled her to focus on domestic violence.

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

On Monday, a senior staffer in the Berkshire County District Attorney office resigned in protest over what she described as a culture where politics took precedence over the law.

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

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

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

The Berkshire County District Attorney’s office announced Friday that it has secured a conviction of a New York man for two attempted rapes.

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

This week, the Berkshire County District Attorney’s office announced two convictions related to human trafficking and rape.

Two white women sit at a wooden table in a book-lined room.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Last week, a citizen driven data collection group called Berkshire County CourtWatch issued a preliminary report on criminal justice trends as observed by volunteers over around 300 hearings at the Southern Berkshires District Court in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Now, District Attorney Andrea Harrington is sharing her perspective on the findings, including a sharp uptick in pretrial dangerousness hearings. Harrington, who made transparency a key part of her 2018 campaign, spoke with WAMC about what discrepancies she says she found in the CourtWatch report, and the system she inherited back in January.

Roger Peet / justseeds

A citizen-driven data collection organization is attempting to track changes in the Berkshire County criminal justice system. Beginning this summer, Berkshire County CourtWatch sent volunteers to observe around 300 hearings held in the Southern Berkshires District Court in Great Barrington. This week, it released a preliminary analysis of the information it gathered from those appearances. Peggy Kern is the head of Berkshire County CourtWatch. She spoke with WAMC about that report on Wednesday, and how the group is trying to track the campaign promises of Berkshire DA Andrea Harrington.

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

The Berkshire County District Attorney says a North Adams, Massachusetts woman has died from injuries sustained in a brutal attack by her husband over the summer.

Andrea Harrington stands at a podium with a row of people behind her.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Launched by District Attorney Andrea Harrington in April, the Berkshire Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force is working on its first initiative.

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

On Tuesday, Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington unveiled her office’s Juvenile Justice Initiative. The DA has convened community leaders to advise on the effort. A Democrat who ran on a reform ticket in 2018, Harrington spoke to WAMC about what the initiative will offer young people in the Berkshire criminal justice system, and who will sit on its advisory committee.

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

The Berkshire County District Attorney has announced a rape conviction in a case stemming from a 2014 incident at Williams College.

Andrea Harrington stands at a podium with a row of people behind her.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington has joined with two other Massachusetts DAs to call on state legislators to raise the maximum age for people in the juvenile justice system from 18 to 21. In neighboring Vermont, youthful offender status has already been raised to 21 by a 2016 law that went into effect last year. Harrington, who won office in 2018 on a reform platform, sat down with WAMC to explain why she believes young adults are poorly served by the adult justice system. She also discussed the progress made by the taskforce she convened in April to confront what she described as the “epidemic” of sexual assault and domestic violence in the community.

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

The Berkshire District Attorney says two suspects have been indicted on murder charges stemming from a 2017 shooting in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington won a contentious 2018 election on a reform ticket, promising the community a new prosecutorial approach predicated on social justice, transparency, and greater outreach. Six months into the job, Harrington sat down with WAMC to talk about her recent trip to Portugal with a progressive district attorney group called Fair and Just Prosecution. She also addressed changes to her office’s community outreach program, the difficulties of implementing a data-based system, her experience handling a quadruple murder-suicide in Sheffield, and much more.

Andrea Harrington

The Berkshire County District Attorney has announced several arrests in a North Adams, Massachusetts drug bust. 

Andrea Harrington stands at a podium with a row of people behind her.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Tuesday morning, Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington announced the formation of a new domestic and sexual violence task force to address what she describes as a growing public health crisis in the community. The task force was detailed during a press conference at the Pittsfield office of the Elizabeth Freeman Center.

In February, Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington fulfilled a campaign promise and largely ended the use of cash bail by her office. It comes during a national conversation about cash bail – one that freelance journalist and New York Times Op-Ed contributor Bryce Covert has been following for years. She spoke with WAMC about the arguments for and against cash bail, and how efforts to reform the system are playing out around the country.

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

There are new details from the investigation into what authorities say was a quadruple murder-suicide in Sheffield, Massachusetts.

Pages