Prosecutors at Manhattan DA’s Office Depart in Droves Due to Alvin Bragg’s “Radical Shift” in Crime Policy - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Prosecutors at Manhattan DA’s Office Depart in Droves Due to Alvin Bragg’s “Radical Shift” in Crime Policy

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With all the negative press that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been getting for his soft-on-crime policy, the New York Post has learned that prosecutors in his office are tendering their resignations because of the “radical shift” in the office.

Bragg has been under fire for the memo he issued on January 3rd in which he directed assistant district attorneys to not seek prison sentences for many criminals and to downgrade some felonies to misdemeanors, as was reported by the Post.

The report indicated that an online petition has emerged calling for his removal from office.

Bragg’s “Day One” memo said that the following crimes will no longer be prosecuted:

  1. Marijuana misdemeanors, PL §§ 222.30 and 222.50
  2. Fare evasion (turnstile jumping), PL §165.15
  3. Trespass, PL §§ 140.05, 140.10, 140.15, unless the trespass is a family offense pursuant to CPL § 530.11 or accompanies any felony charge as a lesser included offense
  4. Driving with a suspended license, VTL § 511.1. Note that any vehicular collision resulting in any physical injury should be pursued as an act of reckless driving, reckless endangerment, negligent or reckless assault, failure to yield, or any other applicable statute. This policy addresses only criminalization of a failure to pay fines and does not address the criminalization of dangerous driving.
  5. Any violation, traffic infraction, or other non-criminal offense not accompanied by a misdemeanor or felony.
  6. Consensual sex trade. This does not include coercive practices regularly done by those who traffic in the sex trade and crimes like money laundering that flow from such practices.
  7. Outdated offenses such as Obscenity, PL Article 235, Fortune Telling, PL § 165.35, and adultery PL § 255.17
  8. Resisting Arrest, PL § 205.30, for the act of resisting arrest for any non-criminal offense
  9. Obstructing Governmental Administration in the Second Degree, PL § 195.05

Speaking to the Post, one law enforcement source said: “I know one assistant district attorney who was with the office over 20 years who left without a job. They didn’t want to work in this kind of office. They wanted to continue prosecuting the law.”

Over the past two weeks, at least a dozen lawyers have quit, according to the Post report.

Among those who have left the Manhattan DA’s office is Joan Illuzzi-Orban, a senior trial counsel  who successfully prosecuted Harvey Weinstein, and won a 2016 conviction in the infamous 1979 murder of Etan Patz, according to the Post report.

Also departing his position at the Manhattan DA’s office is one-time trial division chief, John Irwin, according to the Post report.

A source told the Post that “another veteran prosecutor lost her title and was told she would have to work for someone Bragg brought over from the Legal Aid Society.”

A former prosecutor told that Post: “He (Bragg) wants to get rid of all the senior people who prosecuted high-profile cases and replace them with young inexperienced people who think like him and don’t want to uphold the law.”

The Post reported that Mark Bederow, who worked in the Manhattan DA’s office, said some turnover was to be expected with a new boss, but that Bragg’s arrival will “likely” lead to more departures since “It appears to be such a cultural and radical shift in policy.”

“I would anticipate that many people within the office who have been there for years, who perhaps do not share the same philosophy as the incoming DA, will most likely leave,” he said. “I would expect that the incoming classes of DAs in the next couple of years will entirely share the policies of Mr. Bragg.”

Bederow said the turnover would lead to “transformation in the Manhattan DA’s office unlike anything anyone has seen for decades,” as was reported by the Post.

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