Bronx County Criminal Court Supervising Judge George Grasso. // Eagle Photo by Paula Katinas

Bronx Judge Who Pioneered Incarceration Alternatives Content on the Bench, Source Says

A Bronx criminal court judge with Queens connections is the latest leader to reportedly consider a run for Queens district attorney in 2019.

The New York Law Journal reported that George Grasso, the supervising judge of the Bronx Criminal Court has begun to consider a run for Queens District Attorney in 2019.

The report cited an unnamed source familiar with the “Queens policial scene.”

Office of Court Administration spokesperson Lucian Chalfen declined to speculate on Grasso’s future plans.

“Any discussion regarding Judge Grasso and a campaign for Queens County District Attorney is premature,” Chalfen told the Eagle. “Along with being focused on supervising the Criminal Court in the Bronx, Judge Grasso is the point person in the expansion of the highly successful opioid avoidance and recovery part he pioneered in the Bronx.”

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Council Member Rory Lancman debated Assistant District Attorney James Quinn on the future of Rikers Island Wednesday. // Eagle photo by David Brand 

Debate Highlights Contrasting Views On Rikers’ Future — And On Justice Reform

Council Member Rory Lancman faced off against Queens Assistant District Attorney James Quinn in a heated debate about the future of Rikers Island at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills Wednesday night.

Of the many accusations, complicated budget scenarios and impassioned declarations volleyed back and forth between the two men and audience members, one exchange seemed to crystallize the fundamental difference of opinion on the future of the massive jail complex — and on broader criminal justice reform.

During his opening statement, Quinn, speaking for Queens Defense Attorney Richard Brown and the D.A.’s office, critiqued efforts to close Rikers as a “movement.”

“A movement doesn’t look at details,” Quinn said, before outlining budget underestimations and hammering what he considered impracticalities, like where the city would house inmates during the development of four proposed “borough-based” jails.

An hour later, Lancman addressed the specific statement in his closing remarks.  

“The effort to close Rikers Island is a movement,” Lancman said. “It’s part of a larger movement to reform a criminal justice system that is dysfunctional, broken and overwhelmingly falls on the backs of poor people.”

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Subway turnstiles. // Photo by Rudy Wilms

NYPD Won’t Arrest Fare-Beaters With Summons Warrants

Slipping through the closing emergency door, squeezing two people into one section of a revolving subway entrance, hopping over the turnstile: every straphanger has seen it. So have the cops.

Most people caught by NYPD after evading the subway fare get a slap on the wrist. But for individuals with summons warrants on their records, the act results in a handcuffed trip to jail.

But that may be changing.

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A bucket hat decorated with marijuana leaves on a Queens street // Eagle photo by David Brand

Vance Stops Pot Busts, Brown Will Proceed

Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown will not join his Manhattan counterpart in declining to prosecute low-level marijuana offenses — at least not yet.

In a statement to the Queens Daily Eagle, Brown said his office will wait to see how the New York Police Department’s new marijuana enforcement directives play out.

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DHS has again proposed turning an abandoned factory at 78-17 Cooper Ave. into a homeless shelter // Eagle photo by David Brand

Sunnyside Sign Shines, Holden Fights Shelter Site and Moped Share Hits Queens Today

QUEENS DAILY EAGLE Covering the courts and legal community in the world’s most diverse urban center TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018 

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