Congressman upset with Trump’s pick to lead Western New York’s U.S. Marshals

Local News

A Rochester-area congressman is asking President Donald Trump to reconsider his pick to be the Western District of New York’s U.S. Marshal.

Over the weekend, Trump nominated Peter Vito, who owns a Buffalo private investigation firm, to replace Charles Salina in that office.

On Monday, Rep. Chris Collins, a Clarence Republican, celebrated the nomination, which is subject to Senate confirmation.

“You saw Pete Vito just got nominated this past weekend to be the next U.S. Marshal,” Collins said. “Seventeen counties in Western New York. (He is the) first one ever from the Buffalo area. Traditionally that position has always been filled out of Rochester.”

That’s exactly why Rep. Joe Morelle, A Democrat from suburban Rochester, is upset.

“The decision by the President to break from this longstanding tradition is a slap in the face to Monroe County residents,” Morelle said.

The Western District of New York stretches from Buffalo to as far East as Seneca Falls, including the Rochester region.

Morelle also noted the U.S. Attorney traditionally is a Buffalo-area resident, and that the Marshal should be from Rochester.

“Selecting someone for a law enforcement position based on a recommendation from an indicted Representative facing federal felony charges is an insult,” Morelle added, referencing Collins, who is scheduled to go to trial on an insider trading indictment in 2020.

Vito was the Erie County Commissioner of Central Police Services when Collins was the Erie County Executive. He has also worked as an Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy, and an investigator in the Niagara County District Attorney’s office.

He has been the President and CEO of Peter M. Vito and Associates since 1979.

A woman who answered the door at his office said Vito had no comment on Morelle’s statement.

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