Kiwanis Club President Jocelyn Sikorski and Genesee County Bar Association President Peter Casey announced the awards during an annual dinner held at Batavia Country Club on Thursday, April 27. The speaker at the dinner was Lewis R. Robinson, Secret Service Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office.
Kiwanis Criminal Justice Award
The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness to citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.
THE 2017 AWARD RECIPIENTS ARE:
Investigator Ronald “Pete” G. Welker, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office
Ronald “Pete” Welker started his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on May 11, 1994, as a Correction Officer. He was promoted to Deputy Sheriff on Feb. 3, 1996, and then promoted to the rank of Investigator on April 1, 2000. As an Investigator, Pete has been assigned to the Local Drug Task Force where he has tirelessly conducted investigations into the sale and distribution of drugs throughout Genesee County and effected arrests against those who use and sell illegal drugs. Due to the nexus between drugs and crime, Investigator Welker has also proven himself to be an extremely valuable information resource for perpetrator identification that has resulted in the apprehension of criminals for felony crimes such as robbery, burglary, attempted murder, and assault. During his 22-plus years as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Investigator Welker has received numerous letters of appreciation from the public. In 2009, Pete received the “Deputy of the Year Award” by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and is also the recipient of four Commendation Awards and two Meritorious Awards. Investigator Welker was nominated for this award by Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.
Court Attorney William G. Zickl, Genesee County Court
Prior to assuming his current position as the Court Attorney for the Genesee County Court on Jan. 1, 2017, William G. Zickl devoted 29 years of service to the Genesee County District Attorney’s Office, the local Law Enforcement Community and the citizens of Genesee County. Zickl prosecuted hundreds of cases and represented the People of the State of New York in numerous appeals and post-judgment applications. He represented the District Attorney’s Office in all violation of probation cases in the Genesee County Court and in various treatment courts, prosecuted firearms cases, and provided legal counsel to the DA’s Office. He handled the County’s pistol permit revocation/suspension proceedings for a number of years, worked closely with the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force, and prepared search warrants 24 hours a day, seven days a week when needed. In addition, he also found the time to volunteer many hours as an attorney-advisor and as a judge in the NYS Bar Association’s High School Mock Trial Tournament, addressed various community groups on the topics of firearms and use-of-force laws, participated in several in-service law enforcement training programs and also organized and participated in mock trials for police officers through the Rural Police Training Institute based at Genesee Community College. Court Attorney William Zickl was nominated for this award by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman.
Officers Marc Lawrence and Matthew Wojtaszczyk, Batavia Police Department
Officers Lawrence and Wojtaszczyk were integral in creating the first ever Batavia Police Department Explorer Post. Both officers identified a need to get younger people involved in policing at an early age. They spent countless hours of their own time researching what an Explorer Post is and what the benefits to, not only the individual involved but also the benefits to the agency and community are. Marc and Matt reached out to the Boy Scouts of America to form a partnership and to guide the process along. They completed several recruitment drives in conjunction with the Batavia City School District, spending many hours speaking with youth in the community about the benefits of the Explorer Program and police work in general. Their efforts finally came to fruition on Jan. 25 with the first meeting of the Batavia Police Department Explorer Post #2017. The first class consists of approximately 15 youths, ages 14 to 18 years old, who have demonstrated an interest in law enforcement or a related field. This program will help to foster good relationships between law enforcement and the community and will serve as a model to other departments looking to begin such a program. Officers Marc Lawrence and Matthew Wojtaszczyk were nominated for this award by Chief Shawn Heubusch.
Charles L. Mancuso Mock Trial Award
The “Charles L. Mancuso Award” was presented to the members of the Pembroke High School Mock Trial Team as winners of the 2017 GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties) District Competition in the New York State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Tournament. The award reads “Dedicated to the Memory of an Outstanding Attorney-Citizen,” Charles Mancuso, a Batavia lawyer, served as coordinator of the local competition until his untimely death ten years ago. The Pembroke High School team members honored at the dinner include: Seth R. Librock, Rachel J. Tebor, Tyler Indiana Wood, Kassandra E. Sanner, Eli J. Fox, Aiden J. Costich, Matthew K. Reeb, Bethany M. Zwolinski, Sophia R. Zwolinski, Theodore O. Pintabona, Coach Paul L. Schuler Jr., and attorney-advisors Mary Ann Wiater and David Saleh. Coordinator of the local Mock Trial Program, Kristie DeFreze, and Genesee County Bar Association President Peter Casey presented the award.
Genesee County Bar Association DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Genesee County Clerk Michael Cianfrini made a special presentation to Raymond Cianfrini on behalf of the Genesee County Bar Association. Attorney Raymond F. Cianfrini will retire May 1 after a distinguished 45-year career practicing law in Oakfield. A graduate of Oakfield-Alabama High School, and later a member of its Hall of Fame, he went on to college and was drafted after completing his first year of law school and served our country in the Army from 1968-1970. Cianfrini started out as a young lawyer in 1972, first working with Oakfield attorney Albert Avery. During his tenure thereafter, he has served as an Assistant County Attorney and Assistant District Attorney. However, his devotion to his Oakfield law practice and clients is undoubtedly the hallmark of his legal career. His service and dedication to the community have likewise been exemplary. He was elected to, and has held positions as, OACS School Board Member, Village Trustee, Mayor of the Village of Oakfield from 2000-2007, and County Legislator from 2008 until the present time. He has been chairman of the Genesee County Legislature since 2014. Cianfrini has also contributed countless hours to the Oakfield Historical Society, Oakfield Betterment Committee, Oakfield youth sports, and other local nonprofit groups. He and his wife, Karen, raised their three children, Christy, Mike, and Steve in Oakfield. Together, they remain devoted to their children and grandchildren. The Genesee County Bar Association is honored to present Raymond F. Cianfrini, member and past president, with the award for Distinguished Service to the legal community.
Keynote Speaker Lewis Robinson, with the Secret Service. Robinson spoke about the history of the agency and its activities since its founding and how it operates today.
Batavia PD: Assistant Chief Todd Crossett, officers Matthew Wojtaszczyk and Marc Lawrence, and Chief Shawn Heubusch.
Genesee County Sheriff's Office: Sheriff William Sheron, Investigator Pete Welker, Undersheriff Greg Walker, and Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster
Pembroke's winning mock trial team.