Acting DA Hires Former Ch. 7 Anchor Joanna Pasceri

Joanna Pasceri ...joins DA's office as spokesman

Joanna Pasceri
…joins DA’s office as spokesman

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty who is facing a bruising Democratic primary battle against Tonawanda Town Attorney John Flynn this year, has tapped former Ch. 7 news anchor Joanna Pasceri to become the first public information officer in the history of the office.

Flaherty announced the appointment this week, saying in a press release “we are excited to have Joanna join our outstanding leadership team, and welcome her to her new position serving the people of Erie County.  She will help the media communicate to the people we serve.”  Flaherty is also hoping the appointment of the long-time television anchor will help him win public support for his policies as he seeks to establish himself as an aggressive and professional prosecutor independent of his much-criticized predecessor.

The Pasceri appointment takes me back to 1998 when I left television news to take a position as chief speechwriter for State Attorney General Dennis Vacco after a 20-year career as an investigative reporter at Ch’s 2 and 7.  It is a major shift but her experience will help her deal with the media from the other side, as we say, and the Lockport native appears well suited to hit the ground running and help Flaherty communicate his agenda.

Pasceri had spent 22 years at Ch. 7 before leaving last December, the last nine as a co-anchor, and I was still at Ch. 7 in the early ‘90s when she first arrived.  I remember her as a bright and energetic young woman who went on to a fine career as a broadcast journalist.

“I am looking forward to working with my former media colleagues and informing the public on the work of the Erie County DA,” Pasceri said in the Flaherty release.  “I am so very proud to be part of a team of professionals dedicated to doing the right thing every day.  It’s a perfect fit for me.  I highly respect the values of this office.”

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