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Columbia Co. DA in battle with local courts

Sep 27, 2012 6:40 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="137"] Former county judge, now District Attorney Paul Czajka.[/caption]

Bob Gardinier reports in the Times Union on the ongoing feud between Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka (ch-AI-k-uh) and local court judges over who controls plea bargains and the backlog of cases the disagreement has created. Shortly after his election last year, Czajka informed town and village justices his office would handle all cases and pleas exclusively, in an effort to streamline prosecutiions. The cases at issue are mostly vehicle-and-traffic violations and low-level misdemeanors, cases that in the past were often resolved by arresting officers or the justices themselves, especially traffic offenses. Czajka's demands have spawned a rebellion in some local courts. Read the full story in the Times Union.