BUFFALO, N.Y - Former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark has died after a long illness. He was 74 years old.
Clark was a well-known legal and political figure in Western New York. He was often animated during his many radio and television appearances, including on Channel 2.
Clark was the second-longest serving District Attorney in Erie County history. He led the office for three terms from 1997-2008.
Clark was a Brooklyn native and Marine veteran who saw combat during the Vietnam War, according the District Attorney's Office. He worked as a prosecutor in both the Erie County District Attorney's Office and U.S. Attorney's Office.
He underwent a kidney transplant in April 2016. He had been on dialysis for four years prior while awaiting a donor kidney.
Political figures offered their condolences Saturday morning.
In a statement, current Erie County District Attorney John Flynn called Clark a "true public servant."
Although he presided over the prosecution of thousands of cases, he may be best remembered for his decision in 1997 to seek the death penalty for Jonathan Parker who had murdered Buffalo Police Officer Charles Skip McDougald; a jury convicted Parker, but spared his life. D.A. Clark’s dedication to upholding the law and fighting for justice left an indelible impression on those he worked with and the public he served. We ask that you keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner released the following statement to Channel 2:
Our deepest sympathies go out to Kathy and the rest of the Clark family. We are thankful for the decades of public service that you have given our community.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted his condolences.
My condolences are offered to the family of former Erie County DA Frank Clark who passed away yesterday after a long health battle.— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) September 23, 2017