Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ex-D.A. accused of being spoiler

During a retirement celebration for former Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll, more than a dozen speakers echoed themes about the longtime prosecutor's dedication and integrity, and those with statewide contacts expressed the rarity of those qualities.

Ex-D.A. accused of being spoiler

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Exiting D.A. Joseph W. Carroll and his wife, Barbara, listen to speakers.

During a retirement celebration Saturday for former Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll, more than a dozen speakers echoed themes about the longtime prosecutor’s dedication and integrity.

Mike Carroll (no relation to the former D.A.), whose respected law-enforcement career spanned 45 years, cited Carroll’s many successful business endeavors, including a trophy shop. “He could do anything, but he chose to care about the public … to make sure the people he was responsible for were safe,” the former West Goshen police chief said. “The people of Chester County are better off because of the \[career\] decision he made.”

Other speakers pointed out that Chester County residents had been spoiled. “It’s not like this across the whole commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Frank Pawlowski, the former state police commissioner.
Capt. Brenda M. Bernot, the commanding regional officer for the state police, said Carroll stood out across the state’s District Attorneys as a Lamborghini in a fleet of reliable Hondas and Toyotas and an occasional “dangerous and should be recalled” Ford Pinto. “He’s the kind of man who always did the right thing at the right time for the right reason,” she said.
“That’s why we have a safe community,” explained State Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman.

Carroll said he would miss working with a superior team that ranged from top investigators who taught him crime-solving skills to crime victims who taught him empathy. The unsolved cases will always rankle him, he said, but he believes the skilled sleuths in his former office will continue to seek justice for those victims. To read more about Carroll’s send-off and his reflections on a career in the Chester County District Attorney’s Office that began in 1975, go to

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About this blog
Aubrey Whelan covers Chester County for the Inquirer. A native of a Philadelphia suburb so small it doesn't have a zip code, she grew up reading the Inquirer and was thrilled to take a job there in fall 2012. Previously, she covered crime, courts and D.C.'s Occupy movement for the Washington Examiner. Aubrey graduated from Penn State in 2011, where she worked for the award-winning campus newspaper and majored in journalism and French. Contact her at 215-495-5855 or You can also follow her on Twitter at

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