PENN YAN — In a decision that comes as little surprise, Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella is running for another four-year term.
“We’ve made tremendous progress in these first few years, but there is much more work to be done,” Casella said in a press release announcing he has been endorsed by the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association. “I’m seeking to continue serving as district attorney so we can keep Yates County moving in the right direction.”
Casella, 37, was elected to the position in 2017 following a contentious race with incumbent Valerie Gardner. He was an assistant district attorney in Steuben County before that.
During his first term, Casella and area police agencies worked on a long-dormant cold case that resulted in the murder indictment of Kelly Anderson of Dundee, who is accused of killing her toddler son nearly 20 years ago. The case is going through the court system.
Casella also touted his prosecution of Amy Corron, a former Dundee teacher who stole nearly $8,000 in student funds. She was sentenced to jail.
Casella is prosecuting the murder case of Paul Khouzam, a Branchport resident accused of beating his mother in 2018 at her home in Torrey, leading to her death several weeks later. That trial, which has been delayed several times, is scheduled for May but could be postponed again.
Casella said he has made changes that allow misdemeanor offenders into drug treatment court, started a traffic diversion program for certain infractions, and implemented a paperless, digital case management system.
Rob Schwarting, Republican commissioner for the Yates County Board of Elections, said Casella is circulating petitions to be on the Republican and Conservative ballots in this year’s election for DA. Petitions for major party candidates are due next week, while independent petitions are due in April.
“In both major parties here, we know of no challenger at this time,” Schwarting said.
Casella and his wife, Elisa, live in Penn Yan with their two children.