CANTON -- St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain hopes to relocate, expand and consolidate her offices.
"As it stands, our staff is divided throughout four locations, two of which are not even in the same building," assistant district attorney Shadi Masri said in an emailed response. "The goal is to relocate the entire staff to one location within the courthouse."
The plan also includes a grand jury room within the office to allow for meetings without notifying the county prior to use.
Masri says the new arrangement would insulate those testifying in grand jury from the public and media, ensure the confidentiality of the grand jury process, and maintain the privacy and dignity of victims.
Masri says the current arrangement is actually not legal. He said executive law requires that the district attorney's office "maintain an enclosed meeting space for sexual assault victims, without windows, where no one can hear private conversations."
"We do not have this space in our present office. Aside from placing confidential informants, witnesses, and victims in danger, this type of violation could result in the loss of grant money," he said.
Masri said Rain is the fifth District Attorney to express a need for more space.
"The proposal aims to address these issues, once and for all," he said.