One of Alvin Bragg’s hand-picked top deputies gives up and flees the Manhattan DA’s soft-crime policies.
Joyce Smith, the former acting Nassau County Attorney who Bragg recruited to be part of his executive team after taking office in January 2022, will disappear at the end of the month.
Smith was initially appointed head of the Trials Division and has headed a revamped Special Victims Division since June.
According to a source, she submitted her resignation in early November. She will work for Queens DA Melinda Katz, where she began her career as an assistant district attorney.
“Joyce was a real prosecutor who wanted to uphold a prosecutor’s responsibility, and apparently that doesn’t work here anymore,” said a fed-up insider.
Some longtime prosecutors have also left. Michele Bayer, the deputy chief of the litigation department and 19-year veteran, has departed for the country’s inspector general’s office.
Shannon Goldberg, chief of litigation support, who has been with the office since 2009, accepted a position with the US Department of Justice, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Other defectors include two special trials bosses, Patricia Bailey and Maureen O’Connor. Both left the company in May, Bragg’s office confirmed. They were among some 65 ADAs who departed in the first half of 2022, an exodus partially attributed to onerous state criminal justice reforms.
The bureau’s HR director also resigned in October.
“It will certainly create a lot of brain drain in this place. These aren’t small players in the office,” said defense attorney Mark Bederow, a former prosecutor in the office.
At least nine attorneys resigned in the first two weeks after Bragg took office in January, The Post reported.
Bragg issued a “Day One” memo outlining his progressive policies, including downgrading some crimes to misdemeanors and not seeking jail time for many offenses.
Smith did not respond to a request for comment.
“The Manhattan Attorney’s Office continues to attract the best and brightest. Under DA Bragg, we have a higher number of prosecutors than the office did this time last year,” spokeswoman Danielle Filson said.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/10/top-staffers-leaving-manhattan-da-alvin-braggs-office/ Top officials leave Manhattan Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office