DELAWARE COUNTY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The man who created Delaware County’s public defender office now has his sights set on District Attorney.

Republican Joe Ermeti of Sidney wants to be Delaware County’s top prosecutor.

After growing up in Schenevus and graduating from Siena College and Albany Law School, Ermeti established a private practice in Sidney.

For 28 years, he specialized in courtroom litigation, handling criminal defense, personal injury and civil cases.

In 2019, hew was asked by the Delaware County Board to establish the county’s first public defenders office.

He oversees an office with 5 attorneys and 2 staff.

Ermeti says he’s also served as a special prosecutor giving him a superior resume for the job.

“I’ve been here for 31 years, I grew up right on the line between Delaware and Otsego County. I’m familiar with the people here. I believe I know what they want to see out of prosecution. And that’s to get the bad guys, put them away, the people that victimize other people gotta go.”

Ermeti says he’s tried cases everywhere from Madison County to Manhattan, even winning a case before New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.

He says he supports New York State’s discovery reforms and would have no trouble complying with them.

Ermeti’s candidacy sets up a Republican primary for the seat against Acting District Attorney Shawn Smith who has already secured the Conservative endorsement.