Johnson dropping out of DA race
After weeks of denying rumors that he planned to step down as Bronx district attorney and enable a successor to be hand chosen by the political establishment — circumventing a public ballot — Robert Johnson announced his intention to do just that on Sept. 18.
He issued a statement saying he plans to run for State Supreme Court judge.
“It is time for change in my life. The judicial position will allow me to make a career move that provides the change that I seek without giving up public service,” Mr. Johnson said.
Since the move came after a primary in which Mr. Johnson ran unopposed, Democratic party officials are allowed by law to appoint the next DA. Judge Darcel Clark is considered the most likely candidate for the position.
Dick Dadey, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens Union, told The New York Times, “For the political party to essentially choose the next chief law enforcement officer in the county is a major conflict. The problem of corruption will not be seriously addressed by the next DA because of the collusion between the party and the district attorney.”
Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Bronx Democratic Party chairman, took a defensive stance in an interview with City & State.
Probed about Mr. Johnson’s decision to step down after denying the intention to do so for weeks, Mr. Crespo said, “A lot of articles were written regarding the district attorney . . . and a lot of it was unfounded. A lot of it was innuendo or just accusations about who was behind what.”
Regarding Ms. Clark, Mr. Crespo said, “Her name was the only one floating around but there are others that have been brought up,” said Mr. Crespo, who tried to explain why the rumors were rarely addressed in the media.
Mr. Johnson is infamous for the low rate of convictions during his 27 years as district attorney.
“I would argue that his record is not as bad as some have made it out to be,” Mr. Crespo said.
Success in fighting K2
Bronx elected officials are backing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to remove the synthetic cannabinoid known K2 from the streets of the city.