2002-11-30 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

DA Richard Brown: A Professional With Credentials And Experience

On Thursday, November 21, D. A. Richard Brown addressed the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways. Brown is an outstanding professional who runs a very highly regarded operation as the chief law enforcement officer in the Borough of Queens.

Brown had exceptional credentials and experience prior to becoming the District Attorney. He served as a counsel to both the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. Governor Mario Cuomo appointed him as the chief counsel for New York State. He served as a judge in the New York State Appellate Division. This is one of the highest courts in New York State.  In each of these positions, Richard Brown earned an excellent reputation as a legal scholar who had the depth of experience and wisdom to apply the law in a fair and equitable manner. He has such an excellent reputation in the legal community that he was elected to serve as the President of the national association of district attorneys. He has served for 11 1/2 years as the District Attorney in Queens. 

Brown explained the operation of his office. He noted that he is on-call twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. His office is available and can be reached twenty-four hours a day. Whenever a serious crime is committed either he personally or a member of his staff goes to the crime scene to assist the members of the New York City Police Department. By doing this, his office knows the details of the investigation when it comes in.

Currently his office is prosecuting the Wendy's case. Each day after the court hearing he meets with the families of the victims to answer their questions. The penalty phase is on- going. The jury has two choices since they have found John Taylor guilty on all twenty counts. The jury's choices are: either life without parole or the death penalty. Either option would require a unanimous decision on the part of the jury.

Brown noted that the level of violence in the borough has dropped dramatically since he took office in 1991.  In his first year as District Attorney there were 361 homicides whereas last year there were 93. When he started there were 52,000 cars reported stolen whereas this year there were 10.000 cars reported stolen. He recently completed a long investigation of insurance fraud. Seventy-one individuals were arrested as the result of their findings. They also prosecute mid and upper level crimes including identity theft. At every domestic violence incident, every precinct has a digital camera, which accurately records the incident and assists the District Attorneys office when they go to prosecute the crime. Brown's jurisdiction also covers JFK and La Guardia airports.

The district attorney is doing an excellent job. He has assembled a qualified group of professionals and staff who are working for the citizens who live and work in Queens.

On a sorrowful note I must mourn the passing of a close friend-Rose Ippolito. Rose Ippolito was a very warm and loving person. She was a gourmet cook. She loved her home. To be invited into her home was always a special occasion. She was so hospitable. She embodied all the characteristics that one could desire in a friend and a mother. In her career with the New York City Board of Education she was truly admired by her colleagues. I consider her daughters Barbara and Patricia to be my best friends. They are both very capable professionals who inherited their mother's enthusiasm and appreciation for life. Rose and her late husband Fred were parishioners at St. Rose of Lima for over forty years. We have spent many holidays with them at family dinners. We will miss Rose at all the family gatherings for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. I extend my sympathy to her 3 daughters Barbara, Patricia, Susan and her son John Ippolito. Rose Ippolito made a difference in each life that she touched.

District Leader Dr. Geraldine Chapey and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown discuss law enforcement issues facing Queens residents.

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