Exit Stage Right
Abe George announced today that he would drop out of the race for Brooklyn district attorney, hoping to pave a path to victory for a former rival in his battle against incumbent Charles Hynes.
Mr. George, a spunky former prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.’s office, said he was leaving the race to consolidate the “anti-Hynes” vote and give attorney Kenneth Thompson a better chance of victory.
Assemblyman Vito Lopez has a new problem on his hands to go along with the ethics committee that is investigating him for sexual harassment complaints filed by four female former staffers. Some time this afternoon a hacker gained control of Mr. Lopez’s Twitter account and began posting a series of messages insulting the embattled politician and praising one of his rivals.
“We’re trying to figure this out,” a staffer in Mr. Lopez’s district office said when Politicker called them to ask about the hacker a few moments ago.
Earlier today, Abe George, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office and a candidate next year against incumbent Brooklyn D.A. Joe Hynes announced one of his key campaign platforms will be relaxing penalties for marijuana possession.
“As a career prosecutor who spent considerable time investigating and prosecuting drug crimes, I have seen first hand how valuable resources have been wasted enforcing antiquated marijuana laws rather than fighting crimes that directly impact the public good,” Mr. George said in a statement that also noted anti-marijuana laws’ disproportionate effect on young minorities. “Brooklyn, which has long led the city in homicides and shootings, cannot wait until the New York State Legislature acts at some unknown time to finally decriminalize marijuana possession.”
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, who has been the subject of continued criticism over his handling of sex abuse cases in the Orthodox Jewish community, looks like he now has a Democratic primary on his hands. The New York Law Journal reports that Abe George, an eight-year veteran of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, plans to make Mr. Hynes’ reelection path more difficult in 2013:
“George said he had been considering elective office for ‘a long time,’ and that running for district attorney makes sense given his own experience. He said that Hynes’ conduct has been ‘about politics and not justice,’ citing the recent flurry of criticism surrounding the district attorney’s investigation of sexual abuse in Orthodox Jewish communities. George also said the office under Hynes has focused too much on non-violent crimes, especially those related to marijuana.”