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New Bronx DA to be appointed in upcoming election

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The upcoming general election will have the borough’s voters selecting a new district attorney of the Bronx.

On Tuesday, November 3, Democratic candidate Darcel Clark and Republican candidate Robert Siano will go head to head to secure the public office.

Clark, who stepped down from her position as Justice in the First Department of the Appellate Division in New York State Supreme Court on Sunday, September 27 to make her run, started her career in law in 1986 after graduating with a Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law as an assistant district attorney for the Bronx District Attorney’s office, a position she held until 1999.

Following that position, she was appointed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as Judge of the New York City Criminal Court where she handled misdemeanor cases and trials, a position she held from 1999 to 2005.

She also gained experience as the Justice of the Criminal Division of the Bronx County Supreme Court.

In total, Clark has over 25 years of combined experience at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and the Bronx County Supreme Court.

Clark said as district attorney she would handle prosecution and pass reforms to reduce violence in the Bronx.

She also intends to tackle various issues at Rikers Island, such as inmate-on-inmate violence, officer-on-inmate violence, sexual assault and smuggled contraband.

She also said that her primary goal is to have the most successful, most accessible and most responsive district attorney’s office in the city, along with being the first woman DA in the borough’s history.

“I want voters of the Bronx to know that I am a lifelong resident of this borough who has always committed herself to numerous causes involving community and public service,” said Clark, whose mother was previously a part of numerous tenant associations throughout the city.

“As a previous assistant DA and judge, I have the knowledge and experience to qualify for this position, and, as a lifelong Bronx resident, I will make sure I also fully commit myself to the Bronx and its issues to make it an even safer place.”

Recently, Clark also announced her VISTA Plan, which will include a restructed DA’s office to minimize case transfers, public corruption, time sensitive solutions for victims and defendants and active investigations along with federal, state and local law enforcement.

Siano, who previously worked as the court attorney for the Second Department of the Appellate Division in New York State Supreme Court from 2004 to 2006, has secured the Republican line.

He intends to focus on wrongful convictions, where he plans to start a Conviction Integrity Unit that will review previous and current cases of the wrongfully accused.

He also hopes to handle the backlog of teenagers and young adults who suffer from drug addiction who aren’t deserving of those minor offenses appearing on their criminal record.

Thirdly, Siano hopes to tackle gangs and gang violence by reaching out to local precincts and organizations to get gang members off the street and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

He would also tackle animal cruelty in the borough. His next press conference will be held on Friday, October 30 at noon at New Beginning Animal Rescue’s shelter, 2515 Newbold Avenue, the only-non kill shelter in the Bronx.

“It’s been a challenging but exciting process to raise funding and reach voters,” said Siano. “I’m a passionate, Bronx-born resident who has overseen over 100 criminal appeals, so voters should know that I am more than up to the challenge.”

The winner of the November 3 election will replace former DA Robert Johnson, who held the position since 1989 and is running for a Supreme Court judgeship.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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