PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The top prosecutor in Massachusetts' westernmost county has announced his retirement.

Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said Thursday he is stepping down effective March 15.

On the same day, First Assistant District Attorney Paul Caccaviello will be sworn in as Capeless' successor.

Capeless in a statement said he determined some time ago he would not seek re-election this fall and decided to step down now to give Caccaviello a chance to campaign for the job.

The Democrat was appointed district attorney by former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in 2004 after the unexpected death in office of former district attorney Gerard Downing.

The 65-year-old West Stockbridge resident is married with two grown sons. His father is a former Pittsfield mayor and his grandfather was a state representative.