John Flynn has dedicated his life to public service as a naval officer, Assistant District Attorney, elected official, educator and Judge. He is currently the Town Attorney in Tonawanda, a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and an attorney in private practice. John earned his law degree from SUNY Buffalo Law School and teaches a course on legal issues at SUNY Buffalo State. John lives in Tonawanda with his wife and five children.
Law school and military service reinforced for John the importance of adhering to core values such as patriotism, personal ethics and the rule of law. While on active duty, Flynn was attached to the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) as the Officer-in-Charge of the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Naval Academy and was also an instructor on ethics and military law. As a former Assistant District Attorney, John has a deep understanding of the DA’s Office. If elected Erie County District Attorney, John will restore confidence in an office criticized for its failure to pursue difficult or controversial cases.
He is the son of the late John J. Flynn, Sr., a prominent attorney, and Aileen M. Cosgrove Flynn. The eldest of six children, John was raised in East Aurora, NY, where he graduated from Immaculate Conception Grammar School and East Aurora High School.
After high school, Flynn attended Bowling Green State University where he graduated in 1988 with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. During college, he had his first experience with public service during an internship with Congressman Henry J. Nowak.
Flynn continued his commitment to public service by joining the U.S. Navy after college. He attended Naval Officer Candidate School, in Newport, Rhode Island, and upon graduation he was commissioned an Ensign. He then attended Navy Supply Corps School (the Navy’s business school) in Athens, Georgia, and was then assigned to the USS CLEVELAND (LPD-7), stationed in San Diego. There he served as the Assistant Supply Officer deploying overseas to the Western Pacific during his two-year tour and served during the Gulf War. He was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade.
After he fulfilled his naval commitment, Flynn returned to Buffalo and attended the SUNY Buffalo Law School. While enrolled, he continued to serve in the Naval Reserves achieving the rank of full Lieutenant. After law school, he returned to active duty and served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG). He served as a Navy attorney at Pensacola Naval Air Station before being selected to be on staff at the United States Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland. Flynn was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals during his time on active duty.
In 2001, Flynn decided he wanted to return home to Western New York. He left active duty and was hired as an Erie County Assistant District Attorney. He was quickly promoted to the Homicide Bureau, where he served until leaving in 2002 to enter private practice. Flynn continues to serve in the Naval Reserve and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 2002 and Commander in 2008. He currently serves as a litigation attorney assigned to the Office of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) of the Navy, in Washington, D.C. Since re-affiliating with the reserves in 2001, Flynn has earned three additional Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals.
In 2003, Flynn entered public office, running and winning election to the Tonawanda Town Board. In December 2006, Flynn was appointed Town Justice in the Town of Tonawanda and won election to a full term in 2007. In 2008, Flynn was appointed an acting Buffalo City Court Judge. In 2010, Flynn left the bench and was appointed Town Attorney in Tonawanda. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the Political Science Department at SUNY Buffalo State.
Flynn resides in the Town of Tonawanda with his wife, Debra, and their five children, Derek (age 26), Kelsie (23), Ryan (19), Konner (16) and Gracie (11).