I have served as an Assistant DA in the Bronx, an Assistant USA in the Obama Administration and then as a Deputy DA in Bucks for 8 years. I am now partner in a criminal defense firm in Bucks.
BA from Lehigh University; JD from Hofstra School of Law where she studied under RBG for a semester
First and foremost, I believe a DA must be tough but fair. This means that even while pursuing the protection of the community, a DA must not lose sight of their humanity. If a DA can reconcile these seemingly different qualities, they can achieve a balanced application of the law. In other words, a DA must be able to rely not just on their intellectual understanding of the law but also tap into their empathy when coming to conclusions on how best to proceed. Too often, the criminal justice system can behave callously and without thought towards the human cost. Decisions made in the courtroom carry very concrete consequences in the real world. To ignore this is to imperil our communities at large, exacting a price that we do not mean to inflict. A DA must ask themselves, why did this happen? How can I help all those involved? What do my decisions cost those involved? What policies can my office enact the avoid this happening again? Who are my true partners in bringing about justice?
Throughout my 17 year career in criminal law, I have served as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. As a prosecutor, my focus was on violent crimes, I have been able to build meaningful relationships with victims, other law enforcement, judges, support staff, and community members, and always looked for ways to make the criminal justice system better. This work is my passion and my calling, so running for this office isn’t a stepping stone: it is the culmination of almost 2 decades of committed service and the realization that only as the top law enforcement officer in Bucks County can I enact real change. Beyond that, I have forged lasting ties to this community and the people that live here. I have fought in Bucks' courtrooms where I earned a reputation as being tough but fair and because of that I know I will be a great DA for Bucks County.
As a woman who grew up in an immigrant family, I know what it means to have obstacles in my way simply because of who I am. With this in mind, I will seek to change the glaringly monocultural make-up of the DA's office by widening the scope of where staff is hired from and how recruits are considered. For my staff, I would implement a training regimen geared towards a more realistic and inclusive application of the law, with an emphasis on mental health considerations. The mental health crisis in our County has directly affected each member of our community. I would advocate for bail reform so that a person's bank account doesn’t dictate the outcome of their prosecution. I would aggressively prosecute perpetrators of violence against women, the elderly, children, and other vulnerable communities, and make sure that members of the LGBTQ+ are treated with all due consideration. The words "Equal Justice Under The Law" should be a reality for all citizens.
I have served the citizens of Bucks County as their District Attorney for the past four years, and have served the public as a prosecutor for 28 years.
William Tennent H.S. 1986
Ursinus College 1990
Temple Law School 1993
A district attorney must be a trusted leader in his community. He has to serve the public with integrity, so that he can make difficult decisions based upon principles of justice and fairness rather than popularity, or political expediency. People need to know that their district attorney is keeping them safe. They must not only be safe, but they must also FEEL safe. I've accomplished this through my experience as an excellent communicator. I've earned the trust of the community I serve by leading with integrity based on principles. If you've met me, or heard me speak at your community group, charity organization, place of worship, or school, then you know that I am authentic. Who you see and hear, is who I am.
My experience in crisis is what makes me particularly qualified to continue to serve as your Bucks County District Attorney. It's easy to lead when times are good. It is much more challenging to lead in times of crisis, when one's decisions are subject to second-guessing by the public and one's detractors. Public scrutiny comes with the this job. I've stood with my community in times of crisis, such as during the investigation of multiple homicides, while simultaneously trying to catch the killers, comforting the families of lost loved ones, and informing the public in a responsible yet transparent manner. I've kept our community safe throughout the COVID and opioid pandemics. I've ensured peoples' right to assemble and to freedom of speech during the recent civic unrest without a single riot, clash with police, or loss of life. I clearly communicate with our community leaders and members, including our 39 police chiefs and their 1,000 officers who serve and protect us every day.
We must consider the whole person when assessing a criminal suspect or defendant. Through my 28 years of experience in criminal justice, I believe in redemption and second chances. . NO ONE should be denied equal access to justice due to poverty, education, orientation, or skin color. While I do believe in self-determinism and the need for accountability for our actions to our victims and our community, our need for public safety must be tempered with mercy and compassion. I've directed my staff of 42 prosecutors to divert more cases to second chance programs and specialty courts like drug court, veterans court, our youthful offender program, ARD, and many others. By reducing our prosecutions from 10,000 to 6,000 through these diversion programs, we've given many people a second chance and the specific focus they needed to reclaim their lives. We expect to never see them again. This way we can focus our precious resources on our most serious cases, thus keeping our community safe.