HUDSON–Columbia County District said in a phone interview this week that he is recovering from recent surgery and expects to return to his post in the near future. Mr. Czajka, 59, underwent surgery at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany to replace a heart valve and repair an aortic aneurism August 16.
The district attorney was elected to his current four-year term in 2011, although he also served previously as DA, elected in 1987 and re-elected in 1991 before being elected county judge in 1994. He said this week that the office is being managed in his absence by veteran Assistant DA David Costanzo. He described Mr. Costanzo as “one of the best assistants I’ve ever had,” adding that his deputy has had many years of experience managing the DA’s office. Mr. Costanzo has been an assistant DA for more than a decade.
Mr. Czajka said that he had informed the county judges and law enforcement officials, including the Sheriff’s Office, State Police and Governor Cuomo’s office of his condition.
The DA has been aware for many years that he had a defective heart valve but that it had not caused him problems until he suddenly lost vision in one eye, the event that led to his recent operation. He said that he wanted people to know he will now wear a patch and that the loss of sight in one eye is permanent. The vision in his other eye was not affected.
He said he expects to return to the office “in a relatively short time” and plans to assume all his regular duties. “They can’t keep this Polish-Italian farmer down,” Mr. Czajka said.