Manhattan District Attorney - General Election 2013

  
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Endorsed Candidate - Cyrus Vance Jr. (D)
Age: 59 Occupation: District Attorney, Manhattan
Education: Yale University (BA); Georgetown University (JD)

Cy Vance was first elected as Manhattan District Attorney in 2009, and is now seeking a second term to build on his record with regard to reducing youth and gang violence, building capacity to tackle cybercrimes, and more effectively prosecuting and preventing domestic violence. Vance is particularly proud of his work to take “cold cases” that were unsolved for many decades and bring closure for families who have been the victims of violence and other crimes. Through the recent building of a Family Justice Center in Manhattan, Vance believes that the public will be able to be served in multiple intersecting capacities, including assistance for housing, domestic violence, elder abuse, and human trafficking, among other services. Regarding reform issues, Vance has created an Official Corruption Unit to address corruption within the police department, as well as a Public Integrity Unit to investigate public officials. He has also served as a chair of the New York State District Attorneys Association, spearheading the White Collar Crime Task Force, which produced a set of recommendations to address shortcomings of New York State law with regard to the ability for prosecutors to investigate and prosecute cases of public corruption. On police reform, Vance stated that he does not utilize evidence that he believes has been unfairly obtained as a result of police stops and frisks, and has prosecuted police officers who have lied under oath. He has also created a Conviction Integrity Unit that examines trends across cases to determine whether certain police officers have a pattern of providing evidence that has been found to not be credible. Citizens Union admires Vance’s leadership with regard to advocating for tougher state laws on public corruption, and endorses his candidacy for District Attorney, believing that he will continue to build on his impressive record.

 

  
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Peter Gleason (R)
Age: N/A Occupation: Attorney, Private Practice
Education: N/A

Peter Gleason is a former police officer and fire fighter who has been in private practice as an attorney for the last nine years. He has stated that he believes in equal treatment for all, why he has represented those such as police officers, as well as Anna Gristina, who was charged with operating a high-end prostitution ring on the Upper East Side. He is seeking the office of District Attorney in order to draw attention to the need for the District Attorney’s office to tackle high-profile public corruption cases in Manhattan, such as the William Rapfogel case, which was handled by the State Attorney General. Gleason supports term limits for the office of three, four-year terms, believing that the past practice of district attorneys serving for more than twenty years or more does not serve the public interest. He also supports the opening of additional satellite offices in Upper Manhattan. Regarding the police department, he believes his background as a police officer would be advantageous for the position, and proposes that district attorneys be stakeholders in CompStat to ensure the integrity of crime data. Gleason also supports better training of officers to ensure that stop, question and frisk is properly implemented. While Citizens Union believes that Gleason brings interesting ideas to the table, and is rightly supportive of measures to ensure public integrity of elected officials, we have concerns regarding his viability. Further, we believe that his opponent has a greater grasp of the responsibilities of the office and more detailed plans for implementing his agenda.