In an unusual move six days before the election, Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty crossed party lines on Wednesday to endorse Joseph Treanor, the Republican and Conservative candidate for D.A.
Flaherty, who lost the Democratic primary to John Flynn, told reporters outside Old County Hall he is "following his conscience."
"This is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical statement on my part. Mr. Treanor's an enrolled Conservative. That doesn't matter to me. It's just, in my assessment of the candidates, he is the more qualified and better person for the job," Flaherty said.
In response, Flynn, the Democratic candidate for D.A., said for the Acting D.A. to endorse in any political race is a "disturbing breach of the prosecutorial code of conduct."
Flynn says Flaherty's move is ironic, given that he helped author the latest statewide "Ethical Guidelines for Prosecutors," which says district attorneys and their assistants "may not endorse political candidates."
"The voters of Erie County are going to see through this and see how hypocritical it is when he writes these guidelines just last year and now violates them less than nine months later, " Flynn told WBFO. "It's unfortunate. The D.A.'s office should be held to a higher standard."
Flynn said he is surprised Treanor would accept such an endorsement.