District Attorney Candidates

As the chief law enforcement officer for Delaware County, the District Attorney’s responsibilities are to manage the prosecutor's office, investigate alleged crimes in cooperation with law enforcement, and file criminal charges or bring evidence before a Grand Jury. The DA’s office represents the Commonwealth, while protecting victims and their rights, also provides assistance to victims of crime as well as offering community-based crime prevention programs to educate the public.

Democrat

Jack Stollsteimer, Esq.

Jack Stollsteimer

Jack Stollsteimer, Esq. is a native of Delaware County. While still in law school, Stollsteimer joined the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office as an intern representing the Commonwealth in pre-trial hearings. Stollsteimer was an Assistant Delaware County District Attorney prosecuting criminals in juvenile and adult criminal courts immediately after graduating law school. A year later, Stollsteimer was recruited to join the U.S. Department of Justice as the policy analyst and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) gun violence reduction initiative in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  In 2004, Stollsteimer was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney and assigned to lead a gun violence task force targeting the “Badlands” of North Central Philadelphia. He earned a 100% conviction rate in his four and half years as a federal prosecutor. In 2006, Stollsteimer was appointed as the Pennsylvania Safe Schools Advocate for the Philadelphia School District. In this role, he publicly reported on the School District’s systemic failure to properly report violent crimes and, because of his work District officials made changes in policy to better protect children and teachers. Appointed Deputy State Treasurer for Consumer Programs in 2017, Stollsteimer worked with State Treasurer Joe Torsella to establish the PA ABLE savings program for people with disabilities, and the Keystone Scholars grant program which gives every child born or adopted in Pennsylvania after January 1, 2019 a brighter future by seeding $100 to a 529 higher education savings account to encourage every child to reach their dreams through higher education and career training.

Stollsteimer currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Delaware County Bar Association and as a founding member of Delco Coalition for Prison Reform (CPR). He lives in Havertown with his family.

Stollsteimer graduated from Thomas Edison State College and Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Stollsteimer will:

  • End the privatization of our criminal justice system by returning the George Hill Correctional Facility to public management.

  • Reform our cash bail system.

  • Charge the possession of small amounts of marijuana as a summary offense.

  • Support the establishment of a County Health Department to lead the county heroin task force and expand resources.

  • Seek to expand the capacity and effectiveness of our County Drug Treatment Court.

Responses to H-CAN’s fall 2019 questionnaire:

To what extent, if any, do you think that local police and other government-related agencies should cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding the apprehension and detention of immigrants?

As the son of a Word War II refugee from a Nazi slave labor camp, I am appalled by President Trump's demonization of immigrants and politicization of ICE. As District Attorney, I will advise local police, government officials, and our county correctional officers to cooperate with ICE agents only if they have complied with the 4th Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Delaware County must continue to be a community that maintains public safety by treasuring the diversity of all our people.

Responses to H-CAN’s spring 2019 questionnaire:

What are your top 3 priorities as a candidate?

  • Ending the for-profit management of our county jail.

  • Reforming our cash bail system.

  • Fighting the opioid and heroin epidemic more effectively.

What is the biggest challenge you see for the role of district attorney and how would you address it?

To better protect our communities by restoring integrity to our system of criminal justice. To meet this challenge I have offered a 10-point Smart on Crime plan accessible at https://www.jackfordelcoda.com/platform.

Do you have any known conflicts that would prevent you from bringing a  Criminal case against Sunoco or Energy Transfer Partners? Elaborate.

No.

Read more on Jack Stollsteimer’s website.

Jack Stollsteimer is endorsed by the DELCO Democrats, the Haverford Dems, and the Delaware County Black Caucus

Republican

Kat Copeland, Esq.

Kat Copeland

District Attorney Katayoun “Kat”  Copeland, Esq. has a 25-year prosecutorial career. She was appointed the District Attorney of Delaware County in January 2018, when the previous District Attorney was elected as one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County. Previous to that, Copeland had been a member of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania assigned to its Narcotics and Organized Crime Section for over 6 years, and an Assistant District Attorney in Delaware County for 19 years. As a member of the United States Attorney's Office, Copeland’s responsibilities included working with federal investigators and prosecuting matters in the federal district courts involving international drug operations, armed robberies, large-scale racketeering conspiracies and attempted murders. She also successfully defended such convictions before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Copeland has been active in professional education having taught at the Delaware County Municipal Police Academy and taught the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the El Paso Intelligence Center training program.

Copeland was instrumental in establishing Delaware County’s first drug treatment court and its veterans’ treatment court. She has continued to recognize these restorative and re-entry issues through her current, collaborative efforts to initiate a federal drug treatment court program. Copeland has been recognized by numerous agencies including the Marple Township, Media Borough, and Upper Darby Township police departments, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division, Drug Enforcement Administration and a Special Achievement Award for the successful prosecution of a violent, large-scale Philadelphia drug trafficking gang from at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Copeland is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Responses to H-CAN’s fall 2019 questionnaire:

To what extent, if any, do you think that local police and other government-related agencies should cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding the apprehension and detention of immigrants?

First, I want to be clear that I understand the challenges that immigrants to our nation face. My mother is Iranian and my father, who has since passed away, was American. I lived in Iran for several years during my childhood and my father was improperly imprisoned by the Iranian revolutionary government after he was falsely accused of being an American spy. My mother successfully defended my father, with no formal legal education and in a culture where women are not viewed as equals, and that inspired me to pursue law so that I could ensure that justice was serviced fairly and properly for victims and for the accused. That said, as the chief law enforcement officer of Delaware County, I take my oath to follow and uphold the laws of the Commonwealth and the United States very seriously. Under our constitutional form of government, there is a system of checks and balances that clearly delineates the roles and responsibilities of different branches of government and elected offices. In my view, the practice of law enforcement picking and choosing which laws to enforce creates a slippery slope and sets a dangerous precedent. It opens the door to enforcement of duly enacted laws based on a law enforcement officer’s personal, political, or religious beliefs and infringes on the legislature’s role of enacting our laws. As a result, I believe it is my sworn duty and responsibility to follow the law and cooperate with other government agencies.

Responses to H-CAN’s spring 2019 questionnaire:

What are your top 3 priorities as a candidate?

Since I became District Attorney last year, I have focused on issues ranging from the opioid epidemic to working with faith-based groups to address crime in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods; however, my top three priorities have been:

  • Aggressively prosecuting child predators as well as educating parents, teachers and students about threats on the internet and social media.

  • Prosecuting individuals who have exploited seniors, including financial crimes and physical abuse.

  • Prosecuting criminals for illegal possession of firearms, as well as working with law enforcement and community groups to advocate for sensible gun laws.

What is the biggest challenge you see for the role of district attorney and how would you address it?

As a career prosecutor with 27 years of experience, I have spent my entire career focusing on the safety of our community. The biggest challenge I face as District Attorney is ensuring our office remains on the cutting edge of new technology to ensure we keep pace with new tools that criminals are using to target children, seniors and others. I am constantly working to educate the public about criminals’ use of technology, such as providing parents with information about steps they can take to protect their children from online sexual predators, as well as conducting outreach to seniors and their caregivers about protecting themselves from identity theft and scams.  

Do you have any known conflicts that would prevent you from bringing a Civil or Criminal case against Sunoco or Energy Transfer Partners? Elaborate.

Under my leadership, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office has partnered with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office to investigate allegations of misconduct by Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco, and pipeline construction and other activity surrounding the Mariner East project. There are no conflicts of interest, to my knowledge, that would prevent my office from investigating this matter and, if warranted, bringing a case against any of the parties.

D.A. Katayoun Copeland, Esq. is endorsed by the Delaware County GOP.