Skip to main content

John J. Flynn

John J. Flynn

John J. Flynn served two terms as the 41st District Attorney of Erie County, New York.

Flynn was born and raised in Western New York. After graduating from East Aurora High School, he attended Bowling Green State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. After college, Flynn joined the United States Navy and attended Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon graduation, he was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. He then attended Navy Supply Corps School (The Navy’s Business School) in Athens, Georgia. He was then assigned to the USS CLEVELAND (LPD-7) stationed in San Diego, California, where he served as the Assistant Supply Officer, deploying overseas to the Western Pacific and serving during the Gulf War.

After fulfilling his naval commitment, Flynn returned to Western New York to attend the University at Buffalo School of Law. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserves while in law school. Upon graduation from UB Law in 1995, Flynn returned to active duty and served in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.  He served as a Navy attorney at Pensacola Naval Air Station, in Pensacola, Florida, where he was appointed as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. He served his final two years on active duty at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, as the Officer-in-Charge of the Office of Legal Counsel. During his time on active duty, Flynn was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

In 2001, Flynn left active duty and again returned to Western New York. He joined the Erie County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney where he was quickly promoted to the office’s Homicide Bureau until entering private practice. From 2002 until 2016, Flynn worked as a personal injury attorney. He also served as a lecturer at SUNY Buffalo State from 2009 to 2016 where he instructed a Moot Court class in the university’s Political Science Department. Flynn continued to serve in the Naval Reserves until his retirement in 2017, reaching the rank of Commander. After re-affiliating with the Naval Reserves, he earned four additional Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.

In 2003, Flynn made his first run for public office. He won a seat on the Town of Tonawanda Town Board. In December 2006, Flynn was appointed as Town Justice in the Town of Tonawanda and then won the election to serve a full term the following year. In 2008, Flynn was appointed as an acting Buffalo City Court Judge. In 2010, he left the bench and was appointed Town Attorney in Tonawanda.

In 2016, Flynn was elected as Erie County District Attorney and took office on January 1, 2017. Flynn, who ran unopposed, won re-election in 2020 to serve a second term.

In June 2023, Flynn was officially named as the President of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY). The association represents District Attorneys throughout the state and promotes communication, cooperation, training and consultation on matters concerning crime and improving the legal system.

Flynn also served as the Chair of the Board of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), an organization representing prosecutors throughout the county. He completed his one-year term as President of the organization after being unanimously elected by its members.

In October 2023, Flynn was named as a lifetime member of the Council on Criminal Justice based upon his record of accomplishments and continued leadership in criminal justice and public policy.

In January 2024, Flynn announced his decision to leave the District Attorney's Office before the end of his term to join Lippes Mathias, LLC. Flynn named his first Deputy District Attorney, Michael J. Keane, to serve as Acting District Attorney following his departure from office on March 31, 2024. Flynn currently serves in the firm's municipal law practice. 

Flynn resides in the Town of Tonawanda with his wife, Debra, and has five children.