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 eight out of his nine years in office. District Attorney Donovan has aggressively prosecuted drunk drivers, graffiti vandals and those 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 co-authored legislation with Congressman Michael Grimm that creates 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,” which resulted in the apprehension of one violent suspect within the first two weeks.
In May 2012, District Attorney Donovan became the first prosecutor in New York City to utilize a facility dog to comfort and ease the anxiety of victims and/or witnesses as they go through the sometimes overwhelming criminal justice process. “Bronksey” is a 3 ½-year-old Black Labrador/Golden Retriever mix who has been specially trained to aid victims of crimes. He is on loan to the office from Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a non-profit organization that breeds, trains, and places dogs for a variety of uses, including as therapy dogs and assistance dogs for the disabled. Since joining the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, Bronksey has helped more than 400 victims and witnesses, 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.
District Attorney Donovan announced a joint venture with the NYPD which is titled, "Cash for the Stash." It will reward $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. The goal of this innovative program is to rid Staten Island neighborhoods of deadly "community guns," which are firearms hidden by criminals fearful of getting caught with a gun.
Most recently, he was instrumental in helping to secure the federal funds needed to provide Naloxone nasal spray, a drug overdose antidote, to the borough's police precincts.
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.
District Attorney Donovan earned his Juris Doctorate cum laude from Fordham University School of Law in 1988, where he was a member of the Fordham Law Review, and his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University in Staten Island.