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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Shake-Up Begins at Manhattan DA's Office

Morgenthau Confirms Top Aide’s Resignation
The New York Times By JOHN ELIGON - March 4, 2009

Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times When Robert M. Morgenthau announced on Friday that he would not seek re-election, his top aide, Daniel J. Castleman, left, was at his side. Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney who is giving up his post after nearly four decades, confirmed during a news conference on Wednesday that his top deputy and longtime confidant, Daniel J. Castleman, had submitted a letter of resignation. Mr. Castleman, the chief assistant district attorney, tendered his resignation on Monday after Mr. Morgenthau said he told him he was unsure whether he would support him if he decides to run for district attorney. Mr. Morgenthau announced last week that he would not seek re-election in November for a 10th term. He said he told Mr. Castleman that he would like him to stay and that the offer still stands. If Mr. Castleman does not withdraw the letter, his resignation would take effect in six weeks, Mr. Morgenthau said. Mr. Castleman was not in the office when Mr. Morgenthau discussed the issue and was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Castleman’s resignation is the most conspicuous indication of discord in a district attorney’s office unaccustomed to change. Mr. Morgenthau, 89, has been at the helm of the office for 35 years, longer than any Manhattan district attorney before him. Mr. Castleman’s departure has caused some uneasiness throughout the office, with many senior assistants unsure of their future as several candidates vie to take over Mr. Morgenthau’s seat. Mr. Castleman would be the favored choice of many prosecutors because he would have represented an extension of Mr. Morgenthau’s work and would have been expected to keep the office’s hierarchy intact.

Mr. Morgenthau on Wednesday praised Mr. Castleman’s work as a lawyer with vast responsibilities but said he was unsure about his ability to handle many of the public obligations that come with leading what is considered in legal circles as the country’s premier prosecutor’s office. “When I think of my successor, I’ve got to think about who’s the best qualified to deal with the outside and inside,” Mr. Morgenthau said. “Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside are two different talents.” Mr. Morgenthau did not commit to supporting any of the people who have announced their candidacy to succeed him. The list includes two former assistants who worked under him — Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and Richard Aborn. It is clear that Mr. Morgenthau wants to ensure that whichever candidates he backs will defeat Leslie Crocker Snyder, a former judge and former Manhattan prosecutor, who lost a bitter, hard-fought Democratic primary against Mr. Morgenthau last year. Many expect Mr. Vance, the son and namesake of the former United States secretary of state, to receive Mr. Morgenthau’s backing. Mr. Vance has been raising money for more than a year and his background includes a strong dose of politics. Mr. Castleman would have had to leave his post to run for district attorney. Now, it appears he may not run, but he is still leaving the office because his boss and close friend would not support him. Mr. Morgenthau said his decision not to offer Mr. Castleman his support at this time was hard. “Probably the most difficult decision I’ve had to make here in the office,” he said.


Anonymous said...

Maybe justice will finally show it's head again at the Manhattan DA's office. Morganthau was great but has left way too much to the people under him in recent years. And those people have whitewashed many crimes by connected New Yorkers- JUST AS THIS BLOG HAS BEEN SAYING ABOUT THE CJC and the DDC! And the whole Marshall/Astor prosecution is a scam, just to let upstate lawyers and judges get control of millions. I know, I saw it all happen. Give him hell Morgy!

Anonymous said...

Several people involved with the DDC struggle have dealt with Leslie Crocker Snyder.

She is crooked, and deeply connected to people at the CJC.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sure many crime's have been covered up by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.. I wonder who was really behind it all..Why don't you ask the CHIEF OF SEX CRIME'S UNIT, ADA LISA FRIEL if she's had anything to do with covering up sex crime's that have been committed by POLITICALLY CONNECTED LAWYERS, boy, would I love to see what her response is to that question.

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