New York City prosecutors resign by the hundred as soft-on-crime policies are pushed by DAs

Manhattan and Brooklyn have each lost about one-eight of their staff in the last year.

Updated: June 27, 2022 - 12:19pm

New York City is losing hundreds of prosecutors, quitting amid reforms taking place at the district attorneys' offices.

Alvin Bragg, the district attorney of Manhattan, has seen his office lose 65 assistant district attorneys – about one-eight of his staff – this year.

During his first week in office, Bragg released a memo that ordered prosecutors not to seek prison sentences for an increased number of crimes and to lessen charges against some offenses, including robberies ad commercial burglaries, crimes that have skyrocketed since the summer of 2020.

In Brooklyn, 67 prosecutors – about 13% of the office – have resigned from District Attorney Eric Gonzalez's office. In 2020, 84 resigned, and 94 left in 2021. In the Bronx, 59 prosecutors have quit during the first half of the year.

Former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, also the trial division chief who prosecuted Harvey Weinstein, and others told the New York Post that some of the intense regulations that New York adopted in 2019 are "crippling our lawyers."

Some of the recently adopted requirements order lawyers to turn over significant amounts of material to the defense in a short period of time.

"You become a file clerk rather than a trial lawyer," lluzzi-Orbon said. "Most of it is completely irrelevant and not germane in any way to the issues of the case."