Back in 2002, according to the Daily News, Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes, dealt with a budget deficit by laying off 17 prosecutors that failed to pass the state bar exam. Ever since then, the office of the DA has not hired new prosecutors straight out of law school, waiting instead until after bar exam results are released in November. By tradition, since then, training for newly hired ADAs starts in January.
But in honor of the campaign season, this tradition was breached. Soon, probably after the September 10th election, there will be a training for approximately twelve hires, new to being ADAs.
Susan Quirk, Director of Legal Hirings is the daughter of Hynes’ four-time campaign manager, Dennis Quirk, head of the New York State Court Officers Association. Dennis is a pugnacious guy. When a judge criticized him he responded, “”If they want a war, I don’t take prisoners. I take body bags.”
Given the family patronage tradition and the timing, just before a primary election in September, it would be surprising if these hiring decisions were not driven by election season considerations.
P. S. To reduce the visibility of these new hires they are being farmed out to their final assignments. Normally, new hires start in the Early Case Assessment Bureau (ECAB) where the technical demands are limited but they get broad exposure to the various kinds of cases that commonly fall into the DA’s hopper.
UPDATE: See Shmarya Rosenberg’s post about more Quirk family background and defense of Hynes.