End of an Era: Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau Announces Retirement

According to many reports, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau is not seeking re-election this fall as the chief prosecutor in NY County. Respected and admired by fellow prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys and members of the judiciary, Mr. Morgenthau has served as the District Attorney for 35 years. Prior to serving as the District Attorney, Mr. Morgenthau was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Mr. Morgenthau comes from a family dedicated to public service. His father, Henry Morgenthau, Jr. was Secretary of the Treasury and his grandfather, Henry Morgenthau, Sr. was United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

Robert Morgenthau has not only been an icon in NY, but he dedicated his life to fighting crime in the “streets” as well as the “suites.” Whether his office prosecuted violent street crimes or white collar cases such as Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski and Lloyds Bank, Mr. Morgenthau personified professionalism and ethics in prosecution.

As a former Manhattan prosecutor who served under Robert Morgenthau for seven years, I can say without any hesitation that I grew into the attorney I am today because of him. Whether we continued as prosecutors, moved into other government agencies or started careers in the corporate arena and private practice, my former colleagues and I all share this bond of having learned from a tremendous attorney and person. The passion, experience and skills that my clients benefit from today were forged under his guidance and leadership.

Whomever follows Mr. Morgenthau certainly has enormous shoes to fill. While there are always differing opinions on how to handle any case there was always a level of certainty when dealing with the Manhattan District Attorneys Office. That pillar was Robert Morgenthau.

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