Former Judge, Prosecutor, a Hometown Leader with the Courage and Competence to serve as District Attorney

A SHARED VISION FOR OUR COMMUNITY

Honesty

Integrity

Service

  • Criminal Justice

    I believe in equal protection under the law. The DA as the Chief Prosecutor should act without fear, favor, sympathy, or bias, either for or against any race, creed, gender, social class, or ethnicity.

  • Experience

    Experience — we hear a lot these days about a candidate’s ability to hit the ground running and perform the job seamlessly and with an immediate positive-effect.  For me, being a lawyer is a second professional career, my first was spent in the technology sector working on research and development, finding new and creative ways to improve processes, procedures, and products.  I applied that same knowledge and the experience from a successful career when I was elected as Town Justice in 2011. When I took over in one of the busiest courts in Seneca County, I analyzed the operations and implemented changes to streamline operations, lessen the burden on defendants, litigants, and counsel, while enhancing access to fair and impartial justice.  The District Attorney’s Office expends a significant amount of time in the Justice Courts, a place within which I have a wealth of experience. It is also important to distinguish between quantity and quality. When I took office as Waterloo Town Justice, I hit the ground running and I put a significant amount of time and energy into that job and that role. In my seven years on the bench I adjudicated thousands of matters, some were minor traffic, some were far more serious and impactful.  In each case, I tried to be fair, I tried to be just, and I maintained the proper decorum in Court and I expected the same of the parties. While that was only seven years, it was a rich, immersive experience and thus, my original theorem holds – quality matters more than quantity.


    Furthermore, the concept of prosecutorial discretion, where a prosecutor examines the case holistically to determine whether and to what extent an individual or individuals should actually be prosecuted in a court of law.  Additionally, there is a tremendous amount of judgment that has to be applied long before a case ever gets put on the docket of a justice or county court. That is where having real-life experience coupled with my time spent in the judiciary will make a tremendous impact.

  • Domestic Violence

    This community has seen more than its fair share of domestic violence. We need to provide a voice and community resources for the afflicted to help provide safety and security and to stand with them.

    The District Attorney is responsible for being the voice of the People, we do not choose our clients.  In the context of Domestic Violence, there are many moving parts and many elements to explore.  It can be a balancing act to ensure the rights of the People en masse are upheld while avoiding the re-victimization that may occur as cases wind through the justice system.  Safety and security of the populace are of paramount importance, however, the victim must always have a voice.

  • Prosecutorial Philosophy

    I believe very strongly that laws and regulations are important as they codify social norms and what is defined as “proper,” and “acceptable” forms of behavior. I feel that we all have a right to feel safe in our communities, in our homes, anywhere we may go within this County. Consequently, I envision a multi-faceted approach that I would begin to effectuate with the guidance and support from the law enforcement community:

    1. The overarching goal: keep and maintain a safe community
    2. Distinguish between users and dealers

      a. I don’t want to punish status crimes – if you are an alcoholic, a drug addict – my goal will be to steer these individuals into treatment programs that both target the disease and provide meaningful outlets and alternatives (e.g. treatment along with development of workforce skills); 

      b. Dealers: if you operate as a drug dealer within the borders of Seneca County my goal will be to shut you down, extricate your assets (which will be used to offset the costs outlined in point a, above; and if rehabilitation is not possible then push for incarceration


    i. We need to realize that dealers are in business, and if we remove all economic incentives from the equation, they will go elsewhere


    ii. If we invest in the short-term to drive out dealers, then we all win in the long-term


    iii. This also ties into point, A, above – merely hitting the supply side of the equation will be ineffective we need a two-prong approach to both drive out dealers and reduce usage and thus, demand.


    Felony diversion program: several counties offer diversionary programs for non-violent felony offenses. We have something partially analogous to this, via our drug court, however, I would push for the implementation of the following:
    Drug & alcohol court: for non-violent offenders, the long-term benefits to society through treatment and rehabilitation are too important to ignore:


    i. The issue: attempting to rehabilitate an addict and then adding a felony to their criminal record places them in a catch-22 situation. Part of the process requires gainful employment, there are issues inherent in having a status as a felon which bar some employment, thus causing a person to slip up in their treatment and so on…


    ii. Treatment needs to be holistic and all-encompassing. If we have addicts, they may need to have their addiction addressed, and then in the mid-to-long term they require career rehabilitation efforts so that they are employable and self-sustaining


    I would apply the same principles to a mental health diversionary program: offer treatment, skills enhancement (where and when needed) and the possibility of leaving court without a felony conviction on their record
    Similarly, for veterans – this would be specialized due to the anticipated intersection rates between Seneca County veterans and the criminal justice system, but this important population segment should not be ignored.

Chris has been involved in the Seneca County community his entire life.

Chris has been a Waterloo Rotarian for several years, working on various service projects and lending a helping hand within the community for years.

Chris lives in Waterloo with his wife Tiffany, their two daughters, Trinity, and Calista, while their eldest son, Chris is an active-duty Marine stationed in the Washington, D.C. metro-area (their 18-year old son Tristan died by suicide in 2017, while on winter break from RIT).

About Christopher

Christopher grew up in Seneca County (his grandmother Melva Switzer Robinson and grandfather Charles Robinson were pillars of the community), graduated from South Seneca, went on to Cornell University and served in the Marine Corps Reserves.  Following graduation from Cornell, Christopher worked in the High-Tech Industry and also earned a Master’s from the University of Phoenix, attended Northeastern University in the MBA program, and earned his Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law.

Christopher has been a long-standing fixture in the community, he is a member of the Marine Corps League (Memorial Day Detachment), the American Legion (Post 435), the Waterloo Rotary, Seneca County SCOPE, he serves as the Secretary for the Seneca County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, and is a member of the Seneca County Suicide Prevention Coalition, as well as the Tristan Foundation (see The Tristan Foundation for details).

Christopher was elected to two-terms as Waterloo Town Judge and during his tenure at one of the County’s busiest courts he handled approximately 1,000 criminal matters; 6,000 traffic matters; 300 civil cases; and numerous bench and jury trials. He has worked in private practice on criminal (litigation and appeals) civil, and transactional legal matters. Christopher also served as Assistant County Attorney; handling family court matters, juvenile proceedings, and county legal matters.  Christopher also prosecuted cases as Assistant District Attorney, working on felony, misdemeanor, and violation level offenses as well as appellate work. Christopher also has years of experience managing and leading teams and operating under time, resource, and budgetary constraints.  Christopher did extensive work in the realm of cybersecurity law and data privacy and has the requisite knowledge to help safeguard children, seniors, and residents from cyber-attacks.