Michael E. McMahon
Michael E. McMahon was inaugurated as the District Attorney of Richmond County on January 1, 2016. He serves as the chief law enforcement officer on Staten Island.
Upon taking office, Mr. McMahon made it a priority to increase the Richmond County District Attorney’s (RCDA) ability to better prosecute and prevent crime by modernizing the office, bringing more resources to Staten Island’s criminal justice system, and increasing accessibility and strengthening community relations with law enforcement. In his first few months, he has already moved RCDA into the 21st century by initiating a new case management system and implementing a strategic plan to expand community outreach.
Recognizing the significant challenges facing Staten Island as the epicenter of the heroin and prescription drug crisis, Mr. McMahon has made this issue a central focus for RCDA. In his first 100 days, Mr. McMahon led the takedowns of over a dozen drug dealers on Staten Island, restructured resources and staff within the office to better coordinate leadership between the Narcotics Bureau, Investigations Bureau, and Crime Strategies Unit, and created the City’s first and only Overdose Response Initiative. Under this Initiative, RCDA works with the NYPD to investigate overdose deaths as criminal investigations—with an aim to track down drug dealers and hold them accountable for peddling the poison that is killing so many Staten Islanders and ruining our neighborhoods. This initiative also gives RCDA an opportunity to offer supportive services for families affected by this epidemic. In addition to these efforts, Mr. McMahon continues to lead efforts to increase awareness on the heroin and opioid crisis through education presentations made to local schools and at community meetings.
Mr. McMahon has also taken a renewed approach and focus to addressing Domestic Violence on Staten Island, which has soared in recent years. He has been a vocal advocate for resources for the office to expand and create a separate and unique Domestic Violence Bureau and for the opening of Staten Island’s Family Justice Center. Under his leadership, additional staff has been dedicated full-time to domestic violence cases, and misdemeanor domestic violence cases are now handled in a vertical prosecution style to better serve victims.
Prior to being elected District Attorney, Mr. McMahon was a practicing trial attorney for 30 years, appearing in courts at all levels throughout New York State. In 1993, he opened his own law firm on Staten Island, which he managed for fifteen years before being elected to Congress, where congressional rules precluded him from continuing his practice. After leaving Congress, he returned to law as a Partner in the international law firm Herrick Feinstein.
Always active in civic life, Mr. McMahon also previously served as president of his neighborhood civic association and as a member of Community Board One. In these capacities he led efforts to reclaim Staten Island’s neighborhood parks and against graffiti and nuisance crimes, which sparked the Renaissance of Forest Avenue. Mr. McMahon also served as legal counsel to Assemblyman Eric Vitaliano and Assemblywoman Elizabeth Connolly and later as legislative counsel to City Council Member Jerome X. O’Donovan.
In 2001, Mr. McMahon was elected to represent Staten Island’s North Shore in the New York City Council. In this role, he became the first Chairman of the Council Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management and promulgated the City’s first ever 20-year solid waste management plan. This included the concept of “borough self-sufficiency,” effectively putting a lock on the gates of the Fresh Kills Landfill, which Mr. McMahon helped convert to Parkland.
In the Council, Mr. McMahon successfully secured the capital monies to provide a home for a Children’s Advocacy Center in St. George and the first new police precinct on Staten Island in 75 years. He also championed and passed laws mandating increased ferry service and the presence of a nurse in every school. He rebuilt all of the schools and parks in his district and secured over 70 acres of open space by purchasing Chapin Woods, Jones Woods, Goodhue, Fort Hill Park, and the Blissenbach Marina.
After serving in the Council for eight years, Mr. McMahon was elected to represent Staten Island and South Brooklyn in Congress. As Congressman, Mr. McMahon received a seat on the critically important Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. He secured the funds to rebuild the Staten Island Expressway and the steel understructure of the Ferry Terminal ramps. He was a prime sponsor of key pieces of legislation such as the Iron Dome Defense Program for Israel and the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to provide benefits to the heroes of Ground Zero. He also took action that resulted in the expansion of the Staten Island Violence Against Women Initiative and millions of dollars in increased funding for criminal justice programs in New York City.
Mr. McMahon was born and raised in the Stapleton neighborhood of Staten Island, and is a graduate of St. Joseph Hill Academy, Monsignor Farrell High School, New York University and New York Law School. He and his wife, Judge Judith McMahon, met in law school and will celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. They reside in Randall Manor, in the home where they raised their children, Joseph and Julia, with their Westie named Scout.