When GOP district attorney candidate Beth Stefanide-Miscichowski reached out to shake incumbent Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer’s hand Wednesday evening, she got an angry tirade in return.
The incident occurred at a Bar Association event for judges at the Springfield Country Club, a social gathering where legal professionals from both political parties mingle. Stefanide-Miscichowski spotted Stollsteimer at the event and approached him. They knew each other from working at the DA’s office under former District Attorney Pat Meehan. Stollsteimer was handling communications, and she was an assistant DA, said Stefanide-Miscichowski. Stollsteimer even asked her to come back to work for the District Attorney’s Office after he was elected in 2019.
So Stefanide-Miscichowski thought she would offer a friendly greeting.
In return, she told DVJournal, Stollsteimer turned red and lambasted her, shaking his finger in her face.
“This took me by complete and utter surprise,” said Stefanide-Miscichowski. “This was shocking. This was horrible.”
“He was completely unhinged,” she said. “He got right in my face. He was red-faced, and his finger was in my face.”
He told her, “‘I thought we were friends,’” she said. “He said I was attacking him personally. I said, ‘This isn’t personal. It’s your policies.’ I said, ‘I’m just quoting statistics.’”
“Just you wait,” Stollsteimer responded.
“It was so shocking and so threatening,” she said. “I’ve got to be honest. I wish he were this mad at the criminals he was supposed to be prosecuting. Delaware County would be safer.”
The confrontation ended when another attorney who works in the DA’s office stepped between them.
Stefanide-Miscichowski said that in her 30 years in the legal profession, she has encountered difficult men and refused to be intimidated or silenced.
“I will not be bullied,” she said. “The facts are what the facts are. He’s clearly not capable of accepting the facts. He does not have the temperament to be the chief law enforcement officer. I learned a long time ago the way to stop a bully is to confront them.”
Delaware County GOP Chairman Frank Agovino called out the incumbent DA: “This bullying, misogynistic, and threatening behavior is inappropriate for anyone, let alone the chief law enforcement officer of our county. Ms. Stefanide has shown nothing but civility on the campaign trail and in all of her interactions with DA Stollsteimer. As an accomplished woman trying to make her voice heard as a candidate for public office, she deserves better.
“If DA Stollsteimer should be upset about anything, he should be upset about the 25 percent-plus increase in crime that has occurred on his watch, not Ms. Stefanide for drawing attention to it,” added Agovino. “If DA Stollsteimer should be angry at anyone, it should be himself, for the many ways in which he has allowed Delaware County families to become less safe than when he first took office.
“Beth, a mother of three and an accomplished attorney, carries herself on the campaign trail as she does in every other facet of her life – with integrity. It is clear that DA Stollsteimer does not. Public officials must be level-headed and composed. This interaction is an indication that Jack is unable to live up to that standard.
“Beth and the Delaware County Republican Party demand an immediate personal and public apology by DA Jack Stollsteimer,” said Agovino.
Stollsteimer did not respond to requests for comment.