Caroline Wojtaszek announced her candidacy for Niagara County District Attorney Tuesday.
Wojtaszek became a top prosecutor during the 12 years she worked as assistant district attorney for Niagara County, and for the past six years has been confidential law clerk to Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon. Sheldon handles half of Niagara County's felony criminal cases; Wojtaszek's camp said her extensive legal experience and expertise in criminal law contributes significantly to the fair and effective functioning of the court.
While serving in the DA's office from 1998 to 2010, Wojtaszek earned convictions in numerous high-profile cases. As a member of the DA's special victims unit, she concentrated on domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault cases. She successfully prosecuted a North Tonawanda elementary school teacher convicted of molesting six students.
As one of the first women in Niagara County to lead the prosecution of a murder case, she gained the convictions of three defendants for the murder of 16-year old Jennifer Bolender in Niagara Falls. Wojtaszek successfully prosecuted a defendant accused of raping and terrorizing a young girl and slitting the throat of her younger brother in Wheatfield. She also convicted a serial rapist from Lockport.
Wojtaszek has long been a leader in the fight against domestic violence. She helped develop Niagara County's domestic violence protocols that later served as a model for district attorneys statewide. She coordinated training for lawyers and service providers working in the criminal justice system with those suffering from mental health problems and in the investigation and prosecution of cases involving shaken baby syndrome. Wojtaszek also served on several committees, including the child abuse intervention project, the family violence intervention project, the domestic violence intervention program and the rape crisis advisory board.
While earning her law degree at the State University at Buffalo, Wojtaszek was head coordinator of the law school's domestic violence task force. She also worked as acting domestic violence coordinator for Niagara County while still a law student.
Before entering law school, Wojtaszek graduated magna cum laude from the State University College at Brockport with dual majors in political science and sociology. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad at Oxford University in England and worked as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C.
She currently serves on the board of the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier and is a member of its domestic violence committee.
Wojtaszek, 43, lives in North Tonawanda with husband, Henry, and their three children.