Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele was elected president of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association following the death of Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone. Steele, who had been the group’s vice president, will serve out the remainder of the term for the 2021-2022 business year.
Additionally, the association elected Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnett as vice president and Clinton County District Attorney David Strouse as secretary/treasurer. The election took place in accordance with the association’s by-laws after Vittone passed away.
“Certainly, this is not a change anyone thought we would be making, but this leadership team is committed to continue innovating and ensuring integrity in the criminal justice system, just as Gene would have wanted,” said Steele. “We will honor his memory by continuing to forge a path that seeks justice, protects victims and makes improvements to the system to ensure fairness and safe communities.”
Steele was elected and sworn in as district attorney of Montgomery County in 2016. Since then, he has continued his nearly 30-year career as a prosecutor to seek justice for victims, defendants, and the community. Steele has created and implemented innovative programs that provide a second chance to qualifying offenders.
Steele and his team of detectives, prosecutors and staff have worked proactively in Montgomery County, tackling the opioid-heroin-fentanyl crisis in multiple ways as well as focusing on illegal firearms and domestic and relationship violence. At the same time, the D.A.’s office continues its efforts to reduce crime through education and prevention.
Throughout its history, PDAA has been a leader in matters of public safety. Most recently, the association supported prosecutors through the COVID-19 pandemic emergency and backed legislation signed into law to help the most vulnerable more easily testify during trials and to permit experts to testify about victim behavior in cases involving domestic violence and human trafficking. PDAA has also helped to enact laws to hold domestic abusers accountable by making strangulation a stand-alone crime, to protect against online exploitation by creating the crime of sexual extortion, and to help those with criminal records to be more likely to get jobs by sealing records by enacting the clean slate law.