Republican gubernatorial hopeful Lee Zeldin (D-Suffolk) vowed Monday that if he were elected governor this November, he would begin an “expedited” trial on “day one” to remove controversial Manhattan Attorney Alvin Bragg.
“[There’s] will be an expedited process where we already have enough facts before us that he refuses to enforce the law and I believe it should be removed and I believe it is my constitutional duty to get that done,” said Zeldin on Monday morning at the GOP headquarters in Albany.
Polls, fundraising and recommendations suggest Zeldin has an edge over former White House aide Andrew Giuliani, businessman Harry Wilson and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in the June 28 GOP primary.
All four candidates have called for Bragg’s removal from office, including Wilson, who previously donated to Bragg’s prosecutor’s campaign.
That agreement among GOP candidates suggests Bragg’s goose will be cooked no matter who is the flag-bearer in a year when Republicans hope to win their first statewide election in two decades.
State law gives governors the power to remove officials such as a prosecutor, clerk, or sheriff, although they must first go through a process that includes appointing an investigator, conducting a hearing, and formally notifying the State Department.
Such formalities would be difficult to complete within hours of taking office on Jan. 1, 2023, although Zeldin said Monday he would act as soon as possible to get rid of Bragg.
“Listen, I can’t say exactly how long this whole process will take, although it will be greatly expedited. We already have the facts in front of us to remove him and it will be my first act after taking oath of office – firing Alvin Bragg,” Zeldin said Monday.
Bragg did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
Prosecutors drew criticism from Republicans and some Democrats after directing Manhattan prosecutors to avoid arresting anyone or seeking jail time for a wide range of crimes, except for some serious crimes, such as murder, sex crimes, and public corruption.
Zeldin and others have likened the move to a dereliction of duty as an elected official.
While he later rolled back some of the changes — including directing prosecutors to be tougher on robberies committed with knives — his critics continued to press for his ouster.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said she “relaxed” him a bit after allegedly warning, having previously said she allegedly notified him in his first few weeks in office.
Zeldin, recently endorsed by the Post editorial board, declined to say exactly how long he thinks it will take to remove Bragg from office, although on Monday he expressed confidence that it will happen when he is elected governor this fall.
“It’s going to move fast and in the end he won’t be the district attorney anymore,” Zeldin said of Bragg.
https://nypost.com/2022/06/27/zeldin-promises-to-remove-da-alvin-bragg-in-expedited-process-if-elected/ Zeldin pledges to remove District Attorney Alvin Bragg in an “expedited” process if elected