Posted on January 18, 2022

Manhattan Prosecutors Flee DA Office After Bragg Takes Helm

Larry Celona et al., New York Post, January 15, 2022

Prosecutors in soft-on-crime Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office are flooding the exits amid his “radical shift in policy,” The Post has learned.

Bragg’s controversial “Day One” memo issued on Jan. 3 told assistant district attorneys to not seek prison sentences for many criminals and to downgrade some felonies to misdemeanors. His leadership has already created a firestorm that has led to an online petition calling for him to be removed.

“I know one [ADA] who was with the office over 20 years who left without a job,” said a law enforcement source. “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 nine lawyers have quit.

Among the departures is senior trial counsel Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, who successfully prosecuted Harvey Weinstein, and won a 2016 conviction in the infamous 1979 murder of Etan Patz.


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 source said.

“He 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,” said a former prosecutor.


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.”