CHENANGO COUNTY – Zachary Wentworth, Assistant Public Defender and Norwich resident has officially announced his candidacy for Chenango County District Attorney.
Wentworth grew up in the South Otselic-North Pitcher area, where his parents still live. He is a graduate of the Otselic Valley class of 2003.
He went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree in environmental science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. From there, he went to Vermont Law School as he said it was known for its environmental program.
Wentworth admitted he found criminal and family law much more interesting and said he knew that being in a courtroom is what he wanted to do.
To become a lawyer, Wentworth explained the various internships that covered multiple areas of law.
In 2006, Wentworth interned with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) where he worked to help clean Onondaga Lake. Wentworth said he worked with the outreach committee and produced the annual report that was presented at the annual meeting.
“I worked with a lot of people and received a lot of input to produce a presentation that worked for everyone,” said Wentworth. “It was a collaborative effort.”
Wentworth described his internship between his first and second year of law school — the summer of 2008 — with the NYS Supreme Court with Judge Kevin Dowd.
“I saw a lot of cases with Judge Dowd,” said Wentworth. “I assisted with writing decisions and researching on both criminal and civil matters.”
That following summer, Wentworth did his internship with the Chenango County District Attorney’s Office with current DA Joseph McBride and now Support Magistrate – then First Assistant District Attorney – Stephen Dunshee.
“In that capacity, I was able to actually stand up and help prosecute cases,” said Wentworth. “I was able to make arguments in from the judges, appear at arraignments, and ask questions at Vehicle and Traffic trials.” This was under the supervision of the DA.
Wentworth stayed with the DA’s office for that summer, and then again in December of 2009.
“I spent a lot of time in Norwich City Court,” said Wentworth. “Some time was spent in the evening town courts, but most of my time was spent in the city. I also worked on arraignments on indictments at the county level.”
The fall of 2009 brought about Wentworth’s ‘Semester in Practice,’ where law school required him to work 40 hours per week at a law office for no pay, but for his college credits. Wentworth said he worked for the NYS Attorney General’s Office in Syracuse.
“I worked on pro se claims from inmates,” said Wentworth. “A lot of claims were parole denials.”
In this capacity, Wentworth explained that he wrote motions to dismiss, motions to vacate, and worked with attorneys on a number of different matters.