In August, 2016, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler launched a new initiative, designed to assist Orange County’s immigrants in dealing with the criminal justice system. As part of the initiative, the District Attorney’s Office has joined the New York State District Attorneys’ League of Immigrant Affairs (DALIA), an organization that comprises five other New York State district attorney’s offices, those in the New York City boroughs of Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as Nassau County. In addition, the District Attorney’s Office is seeking membership in the Protecting Immigrant New Yorkers (PINY) Task Force, a coalition of state, local, and federal agencies working together to protect immigrants from being defrauded.
Under the new initiative, immigrants who are victimized will have a single point-of-contact, the Immigrant Affairs Coordinator, for assistance and information about their cases. District Attorney Hoovler has named Robert J. Conflitti, Counsel to the District Attorney, to be the Immigrant Affairs Coordinator. Mr. Conflitti is a career public servant, having spent the bulk of his more-than-30-year legal career working as or on behalf of prosecutors, twice before for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office; for the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney’s Office; and for the Orange County, California, District Attorney’s Office; and also having worked for the New York State Office of the Attorney General for several years. Since his return to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in 2014, Mr. Conflitti has been in charge of District Attorney Hoovler’s Special Projects and Community Affairs Bureau, administering the District Attorney’s community prosecution efforts, and heading up several of District Attorney Hoovler’s initiatives, including the Conviction Integrity Program, the It’s On Us anti-sexual assault initiative, and the Orange County SMART anti-truancy program.
Under the initiative, an immigrant who has been the victim of a crime will be able to call the Immigrant Affairs Coordinator to report the crime, and the Immigrant Affairs Coordinator, in turn, will ensure that the immigrant’s complaint is routed to the prosecution unit within the District Attorney’s Office that is most appropriate to investigate it. Victimized immigrants may report any type of crime, including violent crimes, human trafficking, domestic violence, and frauds. Immigrants and other interested people will also be able to contact the Immigrant Affairs Coordinator for general information about the handling of criminal cases in Orange County. In addition, the District Attorney’s Office, under its existing community prosecution program, will be reaching out to immigrant associations and others who are active in immigrant affairs, in an effort to ensure that word of the initiative is widely publicized. Finally, as a member of DALIA, and if the District Attorney’s membership in the PINY Task Force is approved, the District Attorney’s Office will be periodically meeting with those groups to share ideas about how best to serve our immigrant communities.
If you are an immigrant and wish to report being the victim of a crime, or otherwise need assistance in dealing with a criminal case where you are the victim, or if you wish additional information about the initiative, please contact Robert Conflitti, Counsel to the District Attorney and Immigrant Affairs Coordinator at (845) 615-3640.