What does the Manhattan district attorney do?

NEW YORK – With state elementary school only months away, the Manhattan District Attorney race is heating up.

While each district in New York City has its own district attorney, only the DA seats in Manhattan and Brooklyn are available for the June and November primaries.

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is running for re-election and appears unopposed, according to state campaign financial reports.

Meanwhile, current Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced in mid-March that he would not seek re-election and opened the high-performance seat to a wide range of candidates.

Why is the race important to Manhattan DA? Here are a few key factors to keep in mind:

What is the Manhattan District Attorney doing?

The Manhattan District Attorney is the chief prosecutor in New York County. You are responsible for holding accountable those who violate state and local laws.

The Manhattan Attorney’s Office also shapes criminal justice policy, including reforms and crime prevention strategies.

With over two dozen units and offices ranging from child abuse and cybercrime to tax crimes, human trafficking and hate crimes, the district attorney has help from dozens of district attorneys who conduct investigations and law enforcement. There is also an extensive office support staff to assist the assistant prosecutors in their work.

How long can a public prosecutor stay in office?

Voters have the option to elect a district attorney every four years. However, the role is not limited in time. An incumbent district attorney can stand for re-election as often as he wishes.

Vance’s predecessor, Robert Morgenthau, was in office for over three decades – from 1975 to 2009.

The Manhattan Attorney General’s Trump investigation

The Manhattan Attorney’s Office is currently scrutinizing former President Donald’s finances for possible fraud amid countless open cases.

Whoever becomes the next attorney in Manhattan will be tasked with taking over the investigation.

When Vance announced that he would not seek re-election, he stressed in a memo to staff that the Trump investigation would not stop after he resigned.

“The work continues,” Vance wrote, reiterating his brief statement after the US Supreme Court ruled in February that he might have Trump’s tax records.

Vance recently hired former Mafia prosecutor Mark Pomerantz as assistant district attorney to help with a full investigation into Trump’s finances.

The investigation includes an examination of whether Trump or his companies lied about the value of assets in order to obtain favorable loan terms and tax benefits, according to court records. Prosecutors are also looking into the hush money payments made to women on Trump’s behalf.

Who will replace DA Vance?

There are five candidates who are seeking democratic nomination. Another three Democratic candidates have publicly announced campaigns. A Republican candidate is also running, according to campaign funding records.

Republican candidates

Democratic candidates

Who can vote

Only registered voters who live in Manhattan can vote for the nearest district attorney. Voters who live in Brooklyn will see candidates for that district’s race on their ballot. The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island district attorney seats will not be eligible for election in 2021.

This story includes reports from The Associated Press.

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