Meet the Team
Mr. David LaBahn is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), a national association representing elected and deputy or assistant prosecutors, and city attorneys. The association acts as a global forum for the exchange of ideas, allowing prosecutors to collaborate with all criminal justice partners, and conducts timely and effective training and technical assistance to improve the prosecutorial function. In addition, APA serves as an advocate for prosecutors on emerging issues related to the administration of justice, development of partnerships and implementation of problem-solving strategies. More on Mr. LaBahn
Mr. Steven Naugle is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA). He is responsible for maintaining and handling all accounting for APAís expenses and grant management activities. The CFO also acts as APAís Treasurer and is responsible for internal administrative functions and controls. Mr. Naugle will ensure APA’s accountability and transparency of all funds maintaining federal grant compliance for tracking, accounting, and reporting purposes.
Robert W. Hood joined APA in 2010 as a contract Senior Attorney and played a key role in the development and execution of the 6th National Community Prosecution Conference held in Washington DC. He also played a key role in developing the Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit in Chicago in 2011, planning for the 7th National Community Prosecution Conference, and co-authored the APA/BJA monograph, A Framework for High Performance Prosecutorial Services. Prior to joining APA, Bob served as the Chief of the Public & Community Safety Division of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office for nearly twelve years. In that position, starting in 1999, he built and directly managed the six-attorney Precinct Liaison Program, the office’s nationally recognized community prosecution program. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Community Prosecution and Violent Crime Division for APA, a position he has held since January of 2011.
Beth Merachnik served as the Director for the Smart Prosecution Initiative and the Victim Services Division at APA. The Smart Prosecution Initiative provided national training and technical assistance for prosecutors, to support and enhance criminal justice initiatives and promote public safety. Ms. Merachnik is a former prosecutor from Massachusetts having served for over twenty years in both the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General. Ms. Merachnik prosecuted a wide variety of cases during her career at the District Attorney’s office, including crimes of homicide, sexual assault and child abuse. For over four years, Ms. Merachnik held the position Director of the Middlesex Domestic Violence in which she was responsible for implementing policy and program development, preparing training programs, facilitating community outreach and designing strategies for prosecution and victim safety.
Ms. Merachnik served at the Office of the Attorney General, first as the Chief of the Community-Based Justice Bureau. The bureau was dedicated to developing programs and policies, devising strategies, drafting legislation and providing training in the areas of family violence, child protection, juvenile justice and community safety. Following this, Ms. Merachnik served as Senior Counsel and Trial Attorney in the Criminal Bureau, prosecuting financial crime, public corruption and computer crime. Ms. Merachnik served on the Governor’s Commission for Sexual and Domestic Violence where she was co-chair of the legislative sub-committee.
Nichole Parisi returned to the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in March 2015 as the General Counsel after formerly serving as a law clerk for APA in 2012. Previously, Nichole worked as an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Bruce A. Johnson, Jr., LLC where she practiced criminal, business and real estate law in the state of Maryland. Nichole has experience working in the non-profit sector and has held positions with the National Native American Law Enforcement Association, National Sheriff’s Association, the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation and the National District Attorneys Association.
As a graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law, Nichole received her Juris Doctor degree, as well as a Certificate in International and Comparative Law. While in law school, Nichole was selected as the Dean’s Scholar, received the Dagen Fellowship and the Vincent C. Immel Endowed Scholarship. Nichole received a Certificate of Mastery in Legal Research and Practical Skills, and was selected as a Student Attorney for the Saint Louis University, School of Law Child Advocacy Clinic where she was involved in child advocacy and litigation.
Nichole attended the Pennsylvania State University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Crime, Law, and Justice with a concentration in Business Law. Nichole is admitted to practice in the State of Maryland and a member of the Maryland State Bar Association.
Deputy General Counsel
Marlene Botros joins APA as a Deputy General Counsel with a rich background in litigation. She previously worked for the Office of the Attorney General for the State of New Jersey as a Deputy Attorney General, where she represented the New Jersey Division of Child Protection & Permanency. Marlene has also worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Wayne J. Forrest, J.S.C.
Marlene graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in May 2013. While in law school, Marlene interned for the Honorable Michael J. Shipp, U.S.D.C.J., where she researched and assisted in drafting judicial opinions and bench memoranda. Marlene attended Ramapo College of New Jersey, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, with a minor in Public Policy. Marlene is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and New Jersey and is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Dee Komo serves as the High Performance Prosecution Program Assistant. She holds a B.A. in communications with a concentration in electronic journalism from George Mason University where she is also pursuing a master’s degree in public policy. She also holds a certificate in non-profit management from Northern Virginia Community College. Dee brings to the project nine years of journalism experience, having worked as a reporter and editor for various news outlets. She is responsible for facilitating training, publications, communication and faculty travel. Dee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gabriel Ibarra
Gabriel joins the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys as a Business Accounting Associate. He graduated with the Degree in Accounting at CETYS University in Baja California. He brings more than 15 years in accounting and business experience to the organization.
- S. Angel Tucker
Director of Communications
S. Angel Tucker, Director of Communications for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Loyola University Maryland and her Master of Arts in Publication Design from the University of Baltimore. Before joining the APA firm, she co-founded the fundraising, graphic and web design corporation, RNA Designs, managing the administrative and marketing needs of the firm, while also creating design for a diverse portfolio of clientele. At APA, she has leveraged her extensive business knowledge and excess of sixteen years of communications experience to design the communications department, improve talent acquisitions, as well as build the membership development plan, web presence and overall brand of the association. She continues to direct the focus of the organizational design, technology and marketing focus to ensure a maximized presence in the legal community at the local and national level.
Rashaund Savage, the Senior Designer for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. He graduated from the University of Baltimore with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and subsequently a Masters of Arts Degree in Communications Design. As an owner of a graphic and web design firm and the graphic designer for numerous businesses, he brings to APA a wealth of experience in print design and marketing.
- Mary-Ann Burkhart
Mary-Ann Burkhart is the Director of the Child Abuse Prosecution Project at the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in Washington, DC. Under Mary-Ann’s direction the Project provides training, technical assistance, support, and cutting-edge written products to multi-disciplinary child abuse teams. She comes to APA from National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse at the National District Attorney’s Association, where she was the Director of the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse. Mary-Ann began her legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida, specializing in prosecuting and training prosecutors on domestic violence and child abuse cases. Mary-Ann has also prosecuted homicides, child abuse and neglect, vulnerable adult and elder abuse cases in Baltimore City, and Prince Georges’ and Anne Arundel Counties in the state of Maryland. Throughout her career, Mary-Ann has extensively trained attorneys and published on various issues relating to investigating and prosecuting cases of child physical and sexual abuse and child victims, including during her tenure as Senior Attorney with the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse.
Mary, a 23-year veteran of the Worcester County, Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office comes to us from the Suffolk Law School where she was a Practitioner in Residence. Mary also served as a Senior Attorney in the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse and has extensive experience in providing training and technical assistance to child abuse prosecutors and their teams. Mary lives in Boston and will be the Senior Attorney – East Coast Division.
Edward Chase is a former Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, GA. He served as a supervisor in the Crimes Against Women and Children unit, prosecuting sexual offenses against adults and children, as well as child abuse cases. He was a member of the Georgia Statewide Sexual Assault Response Team Expert Committee, formulating best practices for multidisciplinary teams across the state when responding to cases of sexual assault. Edward can be reached at [email protected]
The position of Training Director is held by Ursula Donofrio, who will be responsible for assisting the senior attorney staff in curriculum development and conference planning. As former Training Director for the California District Attorney’s Association, Ursula brings 25 years of experience to the Child Abuse Prosecution Project.
Aimee Peterson serves as the Child Abuse Prosecution Project Program Assistant. Aimee holds a B.A. from St. Johns University in Government and Politics and comes to the project from the Department of Homeland Security, where she worked as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Strategy, Policy and Budget division of Infrastructure Protection. Aimee also brings experience working in the non-profit sector previously holding positions at the National Sheriffs’ Association and the School Superintendents Association. Aimee can be reached at [email protected]