Coleen Balbert, the Chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau at the Office of the Brooklyn District Attorney, informed her staff in the last few days that she tendered her resignation to the DA and is returning to the Manhattan DA office where she headed a similar unit according to DA sources. A search is underway for a replacement. It seems that other promising candidates are leery about working for DA Kenneth Thompson who is turning off many of his executives with his misdirected temper tantrums. That was a factor in ADA Balbert’s decision to decamp.
Ms. Balbert was appointed in Janary 2014 at the start of Thompson’s term in office to replace Rhonnie Jaus, a long-term executive under Hynes who was tarred by the office’s lax prosecution of orthodox Jewish sex offenders. Thompson has also gone down that path and I expect it to eventually haunt him just as it eventually helped doom Hynes’ reelection bid in 2013.
I suspect Balbert was also frustrated by Thompson’s refusal to aggressively prosecute orthodox sex crimes and victim intimidation and bribery. To date the office has never delivered on promises to prosecute those involved in cooking up the bogus charges against Kellner as a way of helping serial boy molester Baruch Lebovits, nor have they prosecuted those involved in bribing and controlling a witness in that case. The staff who are implicated on the DA side include Joseph (Joe) Alexis, Miss Gregory, and Nicholas Batsides. Alexis got a promotion to head up Red Zone. Gregory retained her position as the head of the bureau for crimes against children even though her failures in the Lebovits case are legion.