Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Good riddance, DA Robert Johnson: A bad prosecutor ends his tenure by lying to the voters

Let the brazen trickery of Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson — the Daily News Editorial Board has accurately dubbed him “a certified liar” — serve as a wakeup call to the public about the perils of leaving important government functions in the hands of less than honest politicians year after year.

On a Friday afternoon, a time when pols often dump negative news in the hope of minimal news coverage, Johnson in effect acknowledged that he’d deceived the public. After 27 years in office, having stated unequivocally that he would run for reelection yet again on the Democratic, Republican and Conservative Party lines, Johnson announced a sudden change of heart and an intention to drop his reelection bid to run for a new job as a state judge.

“After much inner reflection, I have concluded that I would like to serve in another capacity. It is time for change in my life,” Johnson wrote. “The judicial position will allow me to make a career move that provides the change that I seek. . . . I will be making no further comment on this subject.”

I, me, my life, my career move: Nowhere does Johnson mention the people of the Bronx he has failed so often. His scheming denies voters a chance to pick a new DA; instead, party insiders will name a replacement to appear on the ballot this fall, reportedly a judge named Darcel Clark.

An honest election might have forced the nearly invisible Johnson to answer questions about an office whose dysfunction has long been a stain on the justice system.

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