Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. took office as Richmond County District Attorney on January 1, 2004. A native Staten Islander with more than 25 years of public service, District Attorney Donovan has established a proven record of leadership and advocacy for the people of Staten Island.
As District Attorney, Daniel Donovan implemented innovative policies targeting crime on Staten Island, while leading the City of New York in felony conviction rates 10 out of his 11 years in office. District Attorney Donovan has aggressively prosecuted drunk drivers, drug dealers and criminals who prey on senior citizens and children. He has used digital billboards to display the mug shots of convicted shoplifters to help thwart theft at the Staten Island Mall. He has proposed legislation to toughen laws against domestic violence offenders and to make it easier to prosecute “deadbeat parents.” District Attorney Donovan has also supported legislation that would create a federal prescription drug database to help stop the abuse of painkillers. And, he started a cooperative endeavor with the media to capture some of the borough’s “Most Wanted Fugitives.”
In May 2012, District Attorney Donovan became the first prosecutor in New York City to utilize a facility dog to comfort victims and/or witnesses as they go through the criminal justice process. “Bronksey” is a 3 ½-year-old Black Labrador/Golden Retriever mix who was specially trained by Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) to aid crime victims. Since joining the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, Bronksey has helped more than 600 people and made numerous visits to schools and senior centers. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, District Attorney Donovan also brought Bronksey to visit Staten Islanders forced to live in evacuation shelters after the storm destroyed their homes.
To help get illegal guns out of Staten Island’s communities, District Attorney Donovan embarked on a joint venture with the NYPD titled “Cash for the Stash.” It rewards $200 to anonymous tipsters who provide information leading to the recovery of an illegal handgun and $1,500 to anonymous tipsters who provide information leading to the arrest of someone carrying an illegal handgun. District Attorney Donovan has also co-sponsored several gun buyback events with the NYPD, netting more than 700 firearms.
District Attorney Donovan was also instrumental in helping to secure the federal funds needed to provide Naloxone nasal spray, a drug overdose antidote, to the borough's police precincts. More than 20 lives have been saved with the nasal spray administered by police officers on Staten Island.
To combat domestic violence, District Attorney Donovan introduced a GPS bracelet monitoring program to track DV offenders and collaborated with the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) to launch the Coordinated Approach to Preventing Stalking (CAPS) Program, the city’s first-ever anti-stalking initiative. He also joined with State Senator Diane J. Savino and Community Health Action of Staten Island (CHASI) to establish a unique treatment program that, in addition to punishment, will clinically treat DV batterers and assist with their re-entry into the community following a conviction. District Attorney Donovan has also been a vocal advocate for the need of a Family Justice Center on Staten Island to act as a one-stop shop for services for DV victims. Such a facility is slated to open November 2015.
Most recently, he partnered with the Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) and the Veterinary Centers of America (VCA) to create an Animal Neglect Prevention Program which provides financially struggling pet owners with affordable medical services for their animal companion.
Before being elected District Attorney, Mr. Donovan served as the Chief of Staff to S.I. Borough President Guy V. Molinari for six years before being appointed Deputy Borough President under James Molinaro in 2002. During that time, Mr. Donovan served as chairman of the Staten Island September 11th Memorial Advisory Committee and as the Borough President's liaison to the Department of Education, the uniform services of New York City and the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management.
Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff, Mr. Donovan served with distinction as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. In his nearly eight years under legendary Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau, Mr. Donovan prosecuted major narcotics cases throughout the City and served as senior trial counsel.