A desire to serve: South Hadley native Andrew Covington making a name as a prosecutor

  • Andrew Covington, assistant district attorney for the Northwestern district attorney’s office, pictured at the Hampshire County Courthouse. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andrew Covington, assistant district attorney for the Northwestern district attorney’s office, pictured at the Hampshire County Courthouse. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andrew Covington, assistant district attorney for the Northwestern district attorney’s office, pictured at the Hampshire County Courthouse. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andrew Covington, assistant district attorney for the Northwestern district attorney’s office, pictured at the Hampshire County Courthouse. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Andrew Covington was promoted to the rank of major in Army Reserve during a ceremony this month at Westover Air Reserve Base.  CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

For the Gazette
Published: 7/20/2021 12:39:52 PM

NORTHAMPTON — As an athlete at South Hadley High School, where he played two sports and captained the football team, Andrew Covington was an important figure in his school community.

When he graduated, he began looking for other ways to get involved, a search that would eventually lead to his career as a prosecutor.

Covington said it was during his time at Springfield College that he realized just how important the western Massachusetts area was to him. He joined the Newman Community, a Catholic service group, to help give back.

“I think where it all started is at Springfield College, when I no longer played sports,” he said. “Instead of sports, I really was focused on helping the community.”

After graduating from Roger Williams University School of Law in 2013, he returned to Massachusetts and was hired as an assistant district attorney in the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Now a 34-year-old Easthampton resident, he still holds the same values that he developed in college.

“There’s something about protecting the people in the community that you grew up in that gives you some extra motivation,” Covington said.

In 2018, he was called on to assist the Department of Justice for six months in New Mexico, where he worked as a special federal prosecutor. This mobilization is part of his job in the U.S. Army Reserve, which he works in addition to his position in the district attorney’s office.

“I was working with some very talented prosecutors,” Covington said. “I absolutely loved it.”

When those six months were over, Covington was given the opportunity to stay there permanently, which he considered. Ultimately, he decided he wanted to return to the area where he grew up.

“I really wanted to come back to my own county and prosecute where I was born and raised,” he said.

Covington has been serving in the Army Reserve since 2014. He is currently the senior general counsel for the 302nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, located at Westover Air Reserve Base.

There, he works as a prosecutor and oversees all sexual assault cases within the brigade. He has been trained to handle sexual assault cases from a prior position where he served as a special victims counsel, representing sexual assault victims in the military.

“He’s really got a specialty in the military in sexual assault, which the military has really needed to address and to transform,” said Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan.

When Covington first joined the reserves, he served as a first lieutenant and then as a captain. He was promoted to major this month during a ceremony before friends and family at Westover. 

Sullivan is glad that Covington is able to get a wide array of experiences through the reserves, even if it means being away from his position in the district attorney’s office.

“It’s like an exchange program,” Sullivan joked. “He got all that trial experience at a very high level, so he came back and had even better skills than he had before.”

Covington is known for his honesty, according to retired Superior Court Judge Daniel Ford.

“He has a very good reputation,” Ford said.

“Part of our office’s philosophy is open discovery, which means that we give the defense attorneys and the defendants everything we have,” Sullivan said. “Yeah, he’s just really upfront and gives it to them in a timely way.”

In 2022, Covington will be promoted to district court prosecutor to handle child abuse cases in superior court.

“He’s got a real passion for working with child victims,” Sullivan said. “And that’s really what distinguishes a good child abuse prosecutor, is asking ‘how do you help kids?’”

While Covington loves his different roles, they also can be challenging emotionally. He said the two most difficult types of cases for him to prosecute are motor vehicle homicides and cases involving drug abuse.

“When you deal with motor vehicle homicides, they’re very difficult cases to investigate and prosecute, because someone has lost their life over that,” Covington said. “And it can be very difficult and emotionally draining working with the families on those cases.”

Having two jobs also can be difficult, according to Covington. He works for the military on the weekends and several weeknights per month, meaning that he doesn’t have a lot of free time. However, his promotion to major helped prove that his work was paying off.

“The amount of people from the office that reached out to me from the district attorney’s office about my military promotion was overwhelming and makes you realize that you’re doing the right thing by trying to do both jobs,” he said.




Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2020 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy