Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Bronx coup: end-running democracy to replace a DA

Good news: New York’s longest-serving — and least effective — district attorney may finally be leaving his job after more than a quarter-century.

Bad news: He’s to be replaced in a squalid deal that lets the political bosses hand-pick his successor with next-to-no voter involvement.
As The Post’s Richard Johnson reported Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has put together a scheme to place Bronx DA Robert Johnson on the state Supreme Court bench and replace him with a political loyalist — Darcel Clark, now an Appellate Division judge.

Rumors of Heastie’s plan go back more than two years — but it’s a hot issue now because Johnson’s up for re-election this year.

The scheme reportedly has Johnson resigning next month, after his name is already on the primary ballot for re-election.

That would let the Bronx Democratic Committee — which Heastie headed until he became speaker — put Clark on the ballot instead. That’s too late for any other would-be candidate to make the ballot, and so gives Clark a near-lock on victory.

This goes beyond a cynical back-room assault on democracy.

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