Everyone agrees with Governor Kathy Hochul that the attack on Lee Zeldin has no place in New York, and that all New Yorkers share in the relief that Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was unharmed.
The aftermath of the attack should have New Yorkers concerned, too.
In a state riled by bail reform, why did the Monroe County district attorney, Sandra Doorley, allow a sheriff’s office charge of attempted assault in the second degree to stand? Under that charge, the assailant was arraigned and released.
It is important to know that Doorley could have charged the attacker, David Jakubonis, with felony assault — which requires bail.
Let’s note that Suffolk County now has a Republican district attorney and won his race on the issue of bail reform.
The fact that Doorley — inexplicably a co-chair of Lee Zeldin’s Monroe County Campaign Committee, and a vociferous opponent of bail reform — chose not to charge the attacker with a more penal crime is unsettling. And why is Doorley serving on Lee Zeldin’s campaign committee, given that the District Attorney’s Association specifically restricts that activity, to wit: “To avoid compromising the integrity of their office and the appearance of conflicts with their professional responsibilities, district attorneys and their assistants are forbidden to be members or officers of any organization or group having a political purpose.”
Please note that Joe Biden’s Justice Department has pressed federal charges, and Mr. Jakubonis is behind bars.
Subsequent to his attack, Lee Zeldin offered this about bail reform: “I’m thankful that federal authorities came in to do what New York State’s broken pro-criminal justice system could not — uphold the rule of law. Cashless bail must be repealed and judges should have discretion to set cash bail on far more offenses.”
No, Mr. Zeldin — you should ask why Sandra Doorley, Monroe County district attorney and a co-chair of your campaign, didn’t charge your attacker with felony assault requiring bail, an approach currently allowed under New York State law.
Those interested in facts, rather than Lee Zeldin’s exploitation of bail reform for political gain, should read the Brennan Center for Justice report, “The Facts on Bail Reform and Crime Rates in New York State.”
Anthony is a former chair of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee — Ed.
One fine body…