From Harford County State’s Attorney Joe Cassilly:
Dear Harford County residents and citizens of Maryland,
It is with mixed feelings that I announce that I will retire from the position of State’s Attorney for Harford County effective 1 January 2017. I have deeply appreciated the experiences and opportunities that being a prosecutor for more than 39 years has afforded me. The trust of my fellow citizens in each election has inspired me to want look for policies, programs and actions which would make our county a place of safety for all in our homes, communities and on our roads.
My success has been chiefly due to the dedicated prosecutors and employees of the State’s Attorney’s Office and the detectives and police officers I worked with. I thank Judge Edwin Harlan who started me in 1975 as a summer law intern in the State’s Attorney’s office and let me comeback the next summer to try cases as a law student, which convinced me I wanted to make prosecution my life’s work.
I thank the patient prosecutors like Jerry Comen who answered hundreds of questions and taught me to try some of the most incredible cases. The Harford County State’s Attorney was the first to have sobriety checkpoints and use DNA in Maryland courts. My first priority after I was elected was to put together the best domestic violence unit, so I hired Tracey Stamper away from SARC. Because of dedicated prosecutors like Jay Robinson we started one of the first Child Advocacy Centers in Maryland which with the domestic violence unit became the first Family Justice Center in the State. I helped start the Task Force, the best drug and vice unit in the State, in fact in my not so humble opinion we have the best police and prosecutors in the State. We have brought computer systems to the office.
The Family Support unit, which has been staffed by Beverly Greene for 40 years and other caring people, has always been a source of pride doing an outstanding job for our County’s families and being a novel crime prevention program. I have to say one of my proudest moments was being chosen by my fellow prosecutors to be president of the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association and later the National District Attorneys Association. I would like to recognize the encouragement of Baltimore County State’s Attorney Sandy O’Connor.
But this beautiful county that I was raised in and raised children and grandchildren in also surrounds me with images of the victims of violent crimes. I remember as I drive through Joppa, Marcianna Ringo, 8 year old, abducted and stabbed. Edgewood, Bonnie Sue Joseph, abducted and stabbed. Near Aberdeen, Dena Polis raped and strangled. Havre de Grace, Ofc. Robert Pyle, murdered and 3 other police shot. Near Bel Air, Casey Berry, 57 days old when she finally died from multiple instances of abuse. North Harford, Jessica Morgan, 6 year old, terrified and shot, and dozens of others whose deaths will not leave my memory. It is time for me to leave.
The Circuit Court judges will chose my successor, I wish that person well and God bless our county, State and country.