Robert M. Carney has been the Schenectady County District Attorney since January of 1990, having been first elected in November of 1989. He is now in his 32nd year of continuous service in that position, having been re-elected eight times. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the District Attorney's Association of the State of New York and served as President from 2000 to 2001 and Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2001 to 2002.
Mr. Carney is a hands-on prosecutor who routinely handles grand jury presentations and has personally tried dozens of cases, including seven murders, and the notorious case of Steven Raucci, who terrorized his enemies with explosives and repeated acts of vandalism. That case ended in convictions and a life sentence for Mr. Raucci and prompted wholesale changes in the Schenectady City School District's administration and its Board of Education. The case was featured on the National Public Radio show, "This American Life," in an episode titled "Petty Tyrant." More recently his office has investigated the deadly Jay Street fire, issuing grand jury recommendations for reform of the city code enforcement operation; used advanced DNA analysis to finally solve the 1995 murder of Suzanne Nauman and in the process, exonerate the man arrested at the time for the crime (who was not prosecuted because of doubts by Mr. Carney about his guilt); and built a comprehensive network of more than 400 wireless public cameras in Schenectady that have been instrumental in solving countless crimes from bank robberies and shootings to a murder for hire.
He has been honored by the New York State Bar Association for outstanding delivery of prosecutorial services in 2003 and as lawyer of the year by the Schenectady County Bar Association in 2000. He has also been honored by the New York State Humane Society for outstanding leadership in the enforcement of animal cruelty laws, Remove Intoxicated Drivers for DWI policies, the Rape Crisis Service for outstanding service to victims of sex crimes, and Governor Mario M. Cuomo for his role in Operation Crackdown. In 2017, the YWCA of North Eastern New York in Schenectady named him its first-ever Champion for Women award recipient for his long commitment to combating domestic violence. In 2019 he was recognized for "outstanding leadership and commitment to excellence" on behalf of crime victims a the New York State Crime Victims Memorial ceremony.
On January 27, 2017, the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York presented Mr. Carney with its highest award, the Frank S. Hogan Award, named for the legendary DA of Manhattan and presented "for pursuit of the ideals Frank Hogan stood for: prosecution of the guilty without fear or favor; non-partisan staffing; an insistence on the maintenance of the highest ethical standards among all assistants in the office; and the pursuit of excellence in the practice of law."
Mr. Carney has been a lecturer for the New York Prosecutors Training Institute, the National College of District Attorneys, the New York State Bar Association, the New York State Police, and the Union College Academy of Lifelong Learning.
Before becoming District Attorney, Mr. Carney was an assistant district attorney in Schenectady County, and then an associate and a partner in the Schenectady law firm of Higgins, Roberts, Beyerl and Coan. He is an honors graduate of Union College and received his juris doctor degree from Albany Law School. He has four adult children and resides with his wife in the Town of Niskayuna.