City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) last week received a major endorsement for his Queens District Attorney candidacy on Thursday from the Hon. Jonathan Lippman, the former chief judge of the New York City Court of Appeals.
“I am delighted to endorse Councilman Rory Lancman to be the next District Attorney of Queens County. In his work as a state legislator and now as a member of the City Council, I have worked closely with Rory on criminal justice reforms,” Lippman said.
The endorsement comes just days after Lippman, counsel at Latham &Watkins, was appointed as the new president of the Historical Society of the New York Courts on Jan. 28, according to the society’s website.
Latham & Watkins is also one of the most prestigious law firms in the country and is the second biggest law firm by revenue in the world, according to The American Lawyer, which provides legal news. In 2018, it earned $3.064 billion in revenue.
“The criminal justice system is complex and resistant to change, but Rory has been able to push through the clutter and noise and make a real difference by thinking out of the box on criminal justice issues. Rory Lancman will be a great Queens District Attorney. I look forward to continuing to work with him on these important issues in the years ahead,” said Lippman.
Lancman was the first candidate to run for the District Attorney’s race. He announced his candidacy in September 2018.
His candidacy comes three months after several lawmakers criticized current Queens District Attorney Richard Brown for not updating the borough’s marijuana policy while DAs in Manhattan and Brooklyn had agreed to not prosecute low-level weed offenses.
However, Brown fired back that of the 2,507 marijuana cases that came to his office from May 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018, approximately 97 percent did not result in a criminal conviction.
Brown has since decided not to run for re-election as the DA.
“I’m honored to have Judge Lippman’s endorsement, and even more honored to have worked alongside him to fight for real reform of our criminal justice system — the kind of reform I will bring to Queens as our next D.A.,” said Lancman. “We’re going to end overpolicing and mass incarceration, cash bail, and trial by ambush, and focus our resources on fighting crimes against working people, women, and immigrants.”
As far as the race goes, Lancman will not have competition with Lorelei Salas, the city’s commissioner for the Department of Consumer Affairs, who was eyeing a bid for Brown’s seat.
“I am not running,” said Salas on Jan. 31.