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  • Rich Klein

Mannino, Cawley or Conaty To Head DA's Office - As Hand Recount Conducted in Galligan Judicial Race

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

(This story was updated at 11 pm, Monday, December 5 to include candidate Brian Conaty)

And then, there were three.

Karen Mannino, an experienced private practice attorney, long-serving Deputy County Attorney Thomas Cawley and Assistant District Attorney Brian Conaty are the three people reportedly in contention to replace Sullivan County District Attorney Meagan Galligan come January, sources have told The SullivanTimes.

The earlier withdrawal of two candidates (Jared Hart and John Ferrara) -and inclusion of two new names in recent days - indicate that Galligan and local political leaders either have not been able to unite behind one candidate and/or may not have planned accordingly for the expected transition.

Mannino and Cawley served as assistant district attorneys under former DA Steve Lungen more than two decades ago.

Mannino resigned from her position as Town of Bethel attorney last month "to pursue other opportunities." The Cochecton resident, who has been practicing law since 1997, also has served as counsel for the Town of Cochecton and previously worked under Sam Yasgur, the late County Attorney.

Cawley, who was admitted to the bar in 1993, has spent much of his career in the County Attorney's office, including service under Yasgur, Cheryl McCausland and, more recently, under Michael McGuire.

Conaty, who graduated law school in 201`7 and who has worked as a Sullivan ADA for a little more than four years, is also an emerging candidate, sources told The SullivanTimes late Monday night.

Ferrara, who was one of four people being considered to take over the District Attorney's office in January, is no longer a candidate and has taken a different position in County government, a source familiar with the situation told The SullivanTimes early Monday. Ferrara closed his private practice in late October after more than three decades in business.

And, Kauneonga Lake attorney Jared Hart reportedly withdrew his name for consideration a few months ago, despite a reported recruitment effort by Galligan and County Court Judge Jim Farrell, who served as DA from 2010 through 2019.

Galligan in January is expected to be sworn in as a judge in the Third Judicial District, which includes Sullivan and six other counties: Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, and Ulster counties.

But there is currently a mandatory hand recount in her judicial race across all seven counties in which voters had to select three candidates out of four.

Galligan received the most votes among the four candidates. However, the margin among the two candidates who received the least votes - Dem Heidi Thais Cochrane and Repubican Thomas J. Marcelle - was less than 1,000 votes and that is believed to be a trigger for a recount by hand. (see Election Day results below).

The Sullivan County Board of Elections and the other six county boards of elections in the judicial district have until December 13 to file their recount tallies with New York State.

Galligan was hired by Lungen in 2009, who retired later that year.

She continued her work as an ADA under Farrell beginning in 2010 and became his chief assistant district attorney six years later.

Galligan was sworn in as Acting DA in January 2020 after Farrell was sworn in as a county court judge.

She then won election to DA in November 2020, defeating retired County Court Judge Frank LaBuda, and becoming the first female DA in Sullivan County history.


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