Manhattan U.S. Attorney Losing Staff, May Be Forced To Cut Prosecutions


The United States Attorney in Manhattan has brought down terrorists, gang members, corrupt politicians and crooked executives, but budget cuts and hiring freezes may force the office to make difficult choices about which cases to pursue, reports the New York Times. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told a lawyers group yesterday that his office could reach crisis mode. He has 210 assistant U.S. attorneys, almost 20 fewer than in 2011. He loses about 22 a year through attrition, and they are not being replaced.

“Today, in New York City, while we continue to have a gang problem, we do not have the level of murder and mayhem that so plagues Chicago that its mayor is practically begging for federal funds and federal help,” he said. “Do we want tomorrow's New York to look like today’s Chicago? I don't think we do.” Bharara appeared at a hearing of the New York County Lawyers' Association on the impact of budget cuts on the justice system. Other witnesses included the chief judges of the city's federal courts; Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney in Brooklyn; and David Patton, the federal public defender.

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