DA Thompson taps former rival for chief position
Brooklyn’s new district attorney is quickly filing the high ranks of his administration. DA Ken Thompson has selected Abe George to serve as the deputy bureau chief in the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau.
George, Thompson’s political rival in the 2013 race for Brooklyn DA, was a prosecutor in the Manhattan DA’s Office for eight years prior to his decision to run as Brooklyn’s head prosecuting attorney.
During the campaign, George ran on a platform of decriminalizing low levels of marijuana and putting an end to stop-and-frisk abuses. George was extremely critical of the former Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes, and filed a lawsuit in May to prevent the broadcast of a reality show scheduled to prominently feature the work of Hynes and his associate attorneys.
Thompson received more tempered treatment from George during the campaign, with George very rarely having a negative word to say about his political opponent.
In July 2013, five months before the election, George dropped out of the DA race, promptly provided Thompson with his endorsement and donated $5,000 to Thompson’s campaign.
Following up on an issue initially raised by the New York Law Journal, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle looked into questions surrounding George’s recent appointment. This is “Tammany-style backroom dealing at its worst,” Hynes’ former campaign spokesman, George Arzt, said when George gave Thompson his endorsement. “[T]he question is what did Ken Thompson promise Abe George to drop out?” Arzt’s speculation continued.
George shot back at accusations of a backroom deal, stating, “no deals were made,” while a spokeswoman from the Thompson’s office told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in no uncertain terms that there was absolutely no discussion during the campaign of political favors to be given if George should drop out of the DA race.
Set to receive a $95,000 annual salary in his new position, George may use his role in the Narcotics Bureau to further his and Thompson’s stated agenda of lessening the criminality of small amounts of marijuana possession.
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