The Post endorses Greg Lasak for Queens DA
If they were honest with themselves, all but one of the candidates for Queens district attorney would drop out — because that candidate would clearly do better at everything about the job.
Which is why Judge Greg Lasak has The Post’s endorsement.
The rest of the pack are running as criminal-justice reformers, but Lasak has been walking that walk for decades, from inside the DA’ s office. Back in the 1990s, he created a “wrong man unit” that got nearly two dozen innocents released, including some who’d not only been convicted wrongly but had exhausted their appeals.
He also had no patience for bad cops: He was the prosecutor who uncovered the infamous Stun Gun Case — involving the use of station-house torture to gain “confessions.”
Yet he has the support of most law-enforcement unions, because he holds to the old-fashioned notion that district attorneys are seekers of justice. By contrast, his opponents have spent the campaign falling over each other about who will go easiest on “low-level” crimes.
They seem to think that criminal-justice reform requires a DA to act as the borough’s chief public defender, not its chief law-enforcement officer.
And none of them have anything like Lasak’s experience: Two dozen years in the Queens DA’s office, topping out as No. 3, before serving 15 years as a Supreme Court judge, presiding over many of the borough’s highest-profile cases.
Notably, two of his top opponents are running with an eye on the fact that they’ll soon be term-limited out of their current jobs. Lasak resigned from a secure job — with 13 years before his next election — to enter this race.
A Woodside native and graduate of Holy Cross HS and Queens College, he joined the DA’s office fresh out of New York Law School and by 30 had risen to chief of the Homicide Bureau. Then, as chief of Major Crimes, he created the first dedicated domestic-violence bureau.
Moving to the bench in 2003, he oversaw more than 2,500 murder cases, including the College Point Massacre, the largest mass murder in the borough’s history.
He is, in short, the obvious successor to the late Richard Brown.
Lasak’s depth of experience is especially important now, because every DA’s office in New York is headed into a nightmare come Jan. 1.
The Legislature has eliminated not just bail, but the possibility of jail, for a host of charges. More, it has completely rewritten the rules for discovery — giving prosecutors far less time to interview and protect witnesses and to gather evidence to share with the defense once a suspect has been charged.
His rivals lack the experience to hit the ground running even in normal times. Greg Lasak is the only candidate who’s truly up to the job now. He deserves the vote of every Queens Democrat in the June 25 primary.
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