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Former prosecutor Marc Fliedner files paperwork to run for Brooklyn DA

January 4, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Marc Fliedner, who served as a Kings County ADA from 1987 through 1992 and then from 2006 until last year. He said he plans for a "significant overhaul of the structure of the office." Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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A Brooklyn-based civil rights attorney and former Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Marc Fliedner announced on Wednesday that he has filed the paperwork with the New York Board of Elections and is expecting to run for Kings County District Attorney in the September Democratic Primary.

“It’s not a formal announcement yet. We’ll do that in a few weeks,” Fliedner told the Brooklyn Eagle. “But I’ve been speaking to folks in neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn and, quite frankly, they are uninspired by the other candidates and they know that I have a very different take.”

The primary is not until September and the election isn’t until November, but it is quickly becoming a crowded field of candidates interested in the position that was held by Ken Thompson until his death in October. Since then, Eric Gonzalez has taken over as acting district attorney and has confirmed that he plans on running for DA in the next election.

Gonzalez and Fliedner are hardly alone, however, as Patricia Gatling, former first deputy DA under Charles Hynes, has announced that she will run. It has also been reported that Ama Dwimoh, special counsel to Borough President Eric Adams, will run as well.

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Anne Swern, another first deputy under Hynes, and Justice ShawnDya Simpson, New York Supreme Court 2nd Judicial District, are both expected to announce their candidacy in the coming weeks. Councilmember Vincent Gentile is also expected to announce a run for the position but is currently being sued by a former staffer on discrimination charges.

Fliedner served as ADA in Brooklyn from 1987 through 1992, prosecuting sex crimes, child abuse and domestic violence, and rejoined the office again in 2006 after a stint with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey. During his latest tenure in Brooklyn, he prosecuted cases in the Sex Crimes and Homicide Bureau, served as chief of the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau and was the inaugural chief of the Civil Rights Bureau.

“As a progressive Democrat, I’m really energized to make sure that we here in New York and in Brooklyn are staying on a thoughtful and progressive track, continuing things that I have been doing in the office and beyond,” Fliedner said. “There is much more consensus than people realize that the criminal justice system needs to be overhauled.”

Fliedner left the Brooklyn DA’s office in June of last year after he blasted Ken Thompson in the Daily News after two years of working for him, claiming that he lost focus and accused him of being too political.

Fliedner is no stranger to high-profile cases himself. He was involved, along with ADA Joseph Alexis, in the prosecution of NYPD officer Peter Liang in the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley.

Without offering the Eagle specifics, since this was not a formal announcement of his candidacy, Fliedner said that he expects to have a very different message from some of the other candidates including acting DA Gonzalez.

“I’m running from a very different place from the way the office is currently operating and it will be much more of a re-imagining of what this particular office can do and what must be done. You won’t hear me saying, ‘I’m going to keep doing it the same way.’ We’re talking about charging much further ahead.”

Fliedner conceded that there would be some positions that he will hold that were similar to Thompson’s, such as the work he has done with the Conviction Review Unit and his marijuana policies, but added that there would be a, “significant overhaul of the structure of the office.” 

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