OSWEGO, NY – According to the Oswego County District Attorney, it’s not that unusual for a DA to ask for a special prosecutor in certain cases.
Earlier this week, the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office did just that.
Peter J. Rauch, 37, of Liverpool, allegedly struck an 18-year-old man with his vehicle and fled the scene on March 21. Rauch was an investigator with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office. His employment has since been terminated.
“On Tuesday (March 21), the Hon. James Tormey, Chief Administrative Judge for the 5th Judicial District, appointed me (and thereby my office) to serve as special prosecutor in the matter of People v. Peter Rauch,” Oswego County District Attorney Gregory S. Oakes said.
He has been actively consulting with the Syracuse Police Department about the investigation over the past few days, he added.
“I will continue to be directly involved with the case. I intend to personally prosecute the matter; but as always, at various points I will be assisted by one or more of the other capable prosecutors that serve in my office,” he told Oswego County Today.
While the allegations involved with this particular case are seemingly exceptional, it is not unusual for District Attorneys to recuse themselves from matters in which their office has a conflict of interest, he explained.
In fact, in addition to the Peter Rauch case, Oakes’ office is currently prosecuting at least three other Onondaga County cases in which DA Fitzpatrick sought a special prosecutor.
“Similarly, my office is currently prosecuting a felony out of Jefferson County in which DA Kristyna Mills sought a special prosecutor,” Oakes added. “Likewise, both of those DAs offices have previously handled cases for which I have sought a special prosecutor.”
“My office will provide the same attention and professionalism to the Peter Rauch case that we bring to all cases. The victim and his family deserve no less,” he continued. “However, this case will not detract from the day-to-day work of my office as we are accustomed to dealing with many serious cases at once. My office regularly prosecutes more than 600 felony arrests per year.