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Brooklyn DA candidate Fliedner accuses Gonzalez of refusing to prosecute police officers

Gonzalez campaign: A ‘Despicable Lie from a Desperate Candidate’

July 17, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn District Attorney candidate Marc Fliedner has accused the acting district attorney of refusing to prosecute police officers following the trial of Akai Gurley. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

Marc Fliedner, who has more than 15 years’ experience within the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office in two stints, left the office in a public way a little more than a year ago claiming that it had become too political.

Now Fliedner, who is one of six people running for district attorney in Brooklyn in an upcoming election, claims that the office has become even more political under Acting DA Eric Gonzalez. Furthermore, Fliedner now claims that Gonzalez told him that they would temporarily not be prosecuting police officers.

“When I brought Eric Gonzalez additional cases that needed to be looked at for charging [following the trials of Peter Liang and Joel Edouard], I was told by Eric Gonzalez that, ‘We’re not going to be charging police officers for the next few months.’

“He said that to me and my immediate reaction to that was, ‘Are we going to have a period of time when we aren’t going to charge young men of color for political reasons?’” Fliedner continued. “It all goes back to crude politics instead of looking at what is right and wrong under the facts as applied to the law.”

A spokesperson from Gonzalez’s campaign immediately refuted these claims and pointed out that this appears to be revisionist history.

“This irresponsible allegation is a despicable lie and the product of a desperate candidate not fit for the office of district attorney,” Lupe Todd-Medina, a spokeswoman for Eric Gonzalez for District Attorney, said in a statement. “District Attorney Gonzalez has a progressive record of accomplishment. He has worked his entire career to ensure equal and fair justice for all Brooklyn residents.”

In the immediate aftermath of Fliedner’s departure, he blasted the late District Attorney Ken Thompson. He claimed that the office had become too political and said Thompson had “lost focus.”

Part of Fliedner’s beef was that Deputy Chief of Staff Wayne K. Williams, seen as a political figure in the office, had too much of a role. If Fliedner had an issue with Gonzalez at the time, it didn’t show, as he even went on to call Gonzalez “very experienced” in a quote in the New York Daily News.

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Defense attorney Ron Kuby, who once introduced himself to this Brooklyn Eagle reporter as an attorney “who makes a living suing cops,” refused to comment directly on Fliedner’s allegation but added that “out of all of the DAs in the five boroughs, Eric Gonzalez is the least political.”

“In my dealings with the Brooklyn DA’s Office, I have seen no evidence of such a policy,” Kuby said.

It should be noted that Fliedner left the DA’s Office around the same time a 2005 double-murder case was reopened by the DA’s Office after it was found out that Fliedner allegedly hid exculpatory evidence in the case of Wayne Martin. Fliedner denied allegations and suggested the DA’s Office had placed “false or misleading statements” in its filings to suggest wrongdoing on his part.

“The very timing of this filing relative to one of my trials, just two days after I publicly expressed my concerns about the overly politicized environment he has created in the office of the district attorney, is glaringly transparent,” Fliedner said, as quoted in The New York Times. “My guess is that, with this action, Thompson is simply affirming every concern I have voiced about the manner in which he instinctively operates.”

Fliedner said that the fact that there are six people currently running for district attorney in Brooklyn, many of whom have worked alongside Gonzalez, suggests that even those within the system distrust him.

“The fact that there are multiple people who are putting themselves out there when there was a perceived incumbent speaks directly to the fact that those of us who worked with him in the system see him as an inadequate leader.”

 

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