District Attorney Sunday’s collaborative approach to public safety resulted in a 30% decrease in crime during his first term; reductions in the prison population by almost 40% since its peak; a reduced supervision caseload; and a recent study conducted by IUP indicates that offenders in York have the lowest recidivism rate over a 5-year period as compared to seven other counties. Additionally, since the implementation of York’s Early Termination of Probation Program, only 5% of the cases submitted recidivated within two years, resulting in a 95% success rate, now serving as a statewide model.
Dave is also a top litigator, a United States Navy Veteran and a dynamic leader who put himself through college and law school while working at UPS. Dave leads an office of prosecutors and detectives who together investigate and prosecute approximately 9,000 criminal cases annually.
After high school, Dave joined the Navy as an enlisted recruit and was deployed to the Persian Gulf, where he participated in Operation Desert Strike. Dave was also deployed to South America and conducted numerous counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean. Those four years changed his life forever. While serving, Dave learned what it takes to be an effective leader under tremendous pressure. He proudly carries on the Navy’s core principles of honor, commitment, and courage to this day.
Dave received his undergraduate degree in Finance from Penn State University in 2002 and graduated from Widener Law School in 2007. During Law School, Dave worked as a legal intern at the United Nations Office of the Secretariat in New York, where he was assigned to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
After graduation from law school, he worked as Law Clerk for the Honorable Joseph C. Adams, former President Judge of the York County Court of Common Pleas. For the last fifteen years, Dave has been a prosecutor with the York County District Attorney’s Office and prior to being sworn in as the elected District Attorney, served as the Chief Deputy Prosecutor of Litigation. In that capacity, Dave supervised Major Crime cases and the Felony Narcotics Unit. Additionally, Dave served as the Legal Advisor to the District Attorney’s Drug Task Force and York County Quick Response (a.k.a. SWAT) Team.
In 2013, Dave was appointed by the United States Department of Justice as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, where he assisted in prosecuting gang, illegal gun, and drug cases in Federal Court. During this time, Dave led the prosecution of Operation Sunrise, a large-scale multi-jurisdictional arrest and prosecution of over 100 members and affiliates of the “Latin Kings,” a violent criminal gang operating in York County.
Dave is leading York County’s fight against the heroin/fentanyl epidemic. He and the York County Coroner co-founded the York County Heroin Task Force, now the York County Opioid Collaborative, where Dave served as board chair. Dave’s leadership was also instrumental in the expansion of the District Attorney’s Drug Task Force to fight the heroin/fentanyl trade throughout the entirety of York County.
Dave protects our seniors through his role on the Elder Abuse Task Force. In addition to conducting numerous Scam Prevention seminars throughout the county, Dave has successfully prosecuted scam artists targeting senior citizens. Since taking office, Dave further strengthened this priority by appointing an elder abuse special prosecutor that collaborates with strategic partners, including the York County Area Agency of Aging.
Dave is a career litigator and has personally tried approximately fifty felony jury trials to verdict, including the successful prosecutions of over ten of the most high-profile York County murders in recent memory. Dave has obtained many First Degree Murder Convictions, including a multi-defendant gang murder, a targeted multi-victim shooting, and a domestic violence killing.
In addition to homicides, Dave has successfully tried to verdict Murder Conspiracies, multiple Attempted Murders of Police Officers, multiple Murders for Hire, Felony Narcotics Deliveries, a complex Embezzlement, Aggravated Assaults, Burglaries, Armed Robberies, Bank Robberies, Insurance Fraud Cases, Thefts and Elder Fraud Scams to name a few.
Beyond trial work, Dave is the Immediate Past President of the York County Bar Association and serves on the Board of the York County Children’s Advocacy Center. He also chairs the Education and Training Committee of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association (PDAA) and was elected by his colleagues to the Board of Directors for both the PDAA and the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Institute. Also, Dave previously served on behalf of the PDAA on the Pennsylvania Commission for Crime and Delinquency’s (PCCD) statewide Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee.
Nationally, Dave serves on the American Conservative Union’s prosecutor advisory board and has spoken across the country on effective public safety initiatives.
Additionally, Dave was a founding member of the York Group Violence Initiative (GVI) and now serves on the governance committee. He is a key leader with the Community Action for Recovery and Diversion (CARD) initiative and his office co-chairs the York County Reentry Coalition.
In January 2020, Dave was appointed by Speaker of the House Mike Turzai to the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and was subsequently re-appointed by Speaker Bryan Cutler. DA Sunday is the only prosecutor on the commission, comprising state judges, members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and State Senate, legal professors, and a criminal defense attorney.
Since he was elected District Attorney, Dave has been called upon to provide expert testimony on the heroin epidemic and human trafficking before the York County State House Delegation Public Hearing on Human Trafficking; the US House of Representatives – Committee on Homeland Security – Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency; the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Law & Justice Committee; and the Pennsylvania State House Majority Police Committee.
Dave has received multiple awards recognizing his dedication to public service including:
- Widener University Commonwealth Law School Excellence in Public Service Award – 2018
- York County Economic Alliance: Spirit of York County Awards – Elected Official of the Year – 2019
- US Department of Justice: Middle District of Pennsylvania – Cooperative Law Enforcement Award – 2020
Dave is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, American Legion, and the VFW.
Dave lives with his wife and son in Spring Garden Township, York County.