New York County District Attorney
The New York County District Attorney is the elected district attorney for New York County (Manhattan), New York. The office is responsible for the prosecution of violations of New York state laws. (Federal law violations are prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York). The current District Attorney is Cyrus Vance, Jr.
In the legislative act of February 5, 1976, New York State was divided into seven districts which had each an Assistant Attorney General, except New York County where Attorney General Josiah Ogden Hoffman prosecuted personally until 1801.
From 1801 to 1813, New York County was part of the First District which included the then existing counties of New York, Suffolk, Queens, Kings, Richmond and Westchester (now comprising the area of Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Staten Island, Westchester and Suffolk). In 1813, Westchester Co. was redistricted to a new district with Rockland and Putnam counties. In 1815, New York County was excluded from the First District and became the Twelfth District, at the time the only one consisting of a single county. In 1818, all 13 districts were broken up, and every county in the State of New York became a separate district.
From 1874 to 1895, the County of New York included the West Bronx, and from 1895 to 1913 all of what is today the County of Bronx, governing the same area as does the present Borough of the Bronx. Since January 1, 1914, the boundaries of New York County have been identical to those of the Borough of Manhattan.
Until 1822, the district attorney was appointed by the Council of Appointment, and held the office "during the Council's pleasure", meaning that there was no defined term of office.
Under the provisions of the State Constitution of 1846, the office became elective by popular ballot. The term was three years, beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31. In case of a vacancy, the Governor of New York filled the vacancy temporarily until a successor was elected, always to a full term, at the next annual election. An Acting D.A. was appointed by the Court of General Sessions pending the Governor's action.
The Consolidation Charter of 1896 extended the term of the incumbent John R. Fellows—who had been elected in 1893 to a three-year term (1894–96)—by a year, and since the City election of 1897, the D.A.'s term coincides with the Mayor's term, being four years long. In case of a vacancy, a special election is held for the remainder of the term, if any.
List of District Attorneys
|District Attorney||Took office||Left office||Party||Notes|
|Richard Riker||August 19, 1801||February 13, 1810||Dem.-Rep.|
|Cadwallader D. Colden||February 13, 1810||February 19, 1811||Federalist|
|Richard Riker||February 19, 1811||March 5, 1813||Dem.-Rep.|
|Barent Gardenier||March 5, 1813||March 31, 1815||Federalist|
|John Rodman||March 31, 1815||January 28, 1817||Dem.-Rep.|
|Hugh Maxwell||January 28, 1817||June 11, 1818||Dem.-Rep.|
|Pierre C. Van Wyck||June 11, 1818||February 13, 1821|
|Hugh Maxwell||February 13, 1821||May 1829||Dem.-Rep.||in 1821 the last D.A. appointed by the Council of Appointment; re-appointed by the Court of General Sessions in 1823 and 1826 (two terms)|
|Ogden Hoffman||May 1829||May 22, 1835||Democratic||two terms|
|Thomas Phoenix||May 22, 1835||June 4, 1838|
|James R. Whiting||June 4, 1838||June 10, 1844||Democratic||two terms|
|Matthew C. Paterson||June 10, 1844||January 26, 1846||died in office|
|John McKeon||February 6, 1846||December 31, 1850||Democratic||in 1846 the last D.A. appointed by the Court of General Sessions; in 1847 the first D.A. elected by popular ballot; elected at the judicial State election of May 1847 to a term of three years and a half|
|N. Bowditch Blunt||January 1, 1851||July 17, 1854||Whig||died in office during his second term|
|Lorenzo B. Shepard||July 25, 1854||December 31, 1854||Democratic||appointed by Gov. Horatio Seymour to fill vacancy|
|A. Oakey Hall||January 1, 1855||December 31, 1857||Whig|
|Peter B. Sweeny||January 1, 1858||October 5, 1858||Democratic||resigned because of ill health|
|Joseph Blunt||October 1858||December 31, 1858||Republican||appointed by Gov. John A. King to fill vacancy|
|Nelson J. Waterbury||January 1, 1859||December 31, 1861||Democratic|
|A. Oakey Hall||January 1, 1862||December 31, 1868||Republican||second tenure; resigned during his fourth term to take office as Mayor of New York City|
|Samuel B. Garvin||January 1869||December 31, 1872||Democratic||appointed by Gov. John T. Hoffman to fill vacancy; then elected to a full term|
|Benjamin K. Phelps||January 1, 1873||December 30, 1880||Republican||died in office during his third term|
|Daniel G. Rollins||January 3, 1881||December 31, 1881||Republican||as Assistant D.A. appointed temporarily by the Court of General Sessions; on January 10, appointed by Gov. Alonzo B. Cornell to fill vacancy|
|John McKeon||January 1, 1882||November 22, 1883||Democratic||second tenure; died in office|
|John Vincent||November 22, 1883||November 30, 1883||Democratic||as one of four Assistant D.A.s, was appointed by the Court of General Sessions to act until the appointment of a successor|
|Wheeler H. Peckham||November 30, 1883||December 9, 1883||Democratic||appointed by Gov. Grover Cleveland to fill vacancy; then resigned due to ill health|
|Peter B. Olney||December 10, 1883||December 31, 1884||Democratic||appointed by Gov. Cleveland to fill vacancy|
|Randolph B. Martine||January 1, 1885||December 31, 1887||Democratic|
|John R. Fellows||January 1, 1888||December 31, 1890||Democratic|
|De Lancey Nicoll||January 1, 1891||December 31, 1893||Democratic|
|John R. Fellows||January 1, 1894||December 7, 1896||Democratic||second term; elected to a three-year term (1894–96), had his term extended by a year so that the D.A. and the Mayor and other City officers would be elected together in odd-numbered years, but died in office shortly before his extra year began|
|Vernon M. Davis||December 7, 1896||December 19, 1896||Democratic||as the senior Assistant D.A., was appointed by the Court of General Sessions to act until the appointment of a successor by the Governor|
|William M.K. Olcott||December 19, 1896||December 31, 1897||Republican||appointed by Governor Levi P. Morton to fill vacancy|
|Asa Bird Gardiner||January 1, 1898||December 22, 1900||Democratic||first D.A. elected to a four-year term under the Consolidation Charter, then removed from office by Gov. Theodore Roosevelt due to corruption charges|
|Eugene A. Philbin||December 22, 1900||December 31, 1901||Democratic||appointed by Gov. Roosevelt to fill vacancy|
|William T. Jerome||January 1, 1902||December 31, 1909||Fusion/Ind.||two terms; elected in 1901 on a Fusion ticket nominated by Anti-Tammany Democrats, Republicans and the Citizens Union; re-elected in 1905 as an Independent, nominated by the Republican Party too late to appear as such on the ballot|
|Charles S. Whitman||January 1, 1910||December 31, 1914||Republican||resigned to take office as Governor of New York during his second term|
|Charles A. Perkins||January 1915||December 31, 1915||Republican||appointed by Gov. Whitman to fill vacancy; defeated by Swann in special election|
|Edward Swann||January 1, 1916||December 31, 1921||Democratic||won special election for the remainder of Whitman's second term; then re-elected to a full term|
|Joab H. Banton||January 1, 1922||December 31, 1929||Democratic||two terms|
|Thomas C. T. Crain||January 1, 1930||December 31, 1933||Democratic|
|William C. Dodge||January 1, 1934||December 31, 1937||Democratic|
|Thomas E. Dewey||January 1, 1938||December 31, 1941||Republican|
|Frank S. Hogan||January 1, 1942||February 5, 1974||Democratic||tendered his resignation on December 26, 1973, but remained in office until the appointment of a successor on February 5, 1974, shortly after beginning his ninth term |
|Richard Kuh||February 5, 1974||December 31, 1974||Democratic||appointed by Gov. Malcolm Wilson to fill vacancy; defeated by Morgenthau in Democratic primary for special election|
|Robert M. Morgenthau||January 1, 1975||December 31, 2009||Democratic||won special election for the remainder of Hogan's ninth term; then re-elected eight times; longest serving DA for New York County|
|Cyrus Vance, Jr.||January 1, 2010||Incumbent||Democratic|
In popular culture
The long-running television series Law & Order and its spin-offs depict the prosecution of criminal suspects by lawyers of the New York Country District Attorney's office. The District Attorneys depicted in the franchise are Adam Schiff, Nora Lewin, Arthur Branch and Jack McCoy.
- Allegheny County District Attorney
- Baltimore County State's Attorney
- Dallas County District Attorney
- Denver District Attorney's Office
- Los Angeles County District Attorney
- King County Prosecuting Attorney
- Milwaukee County District Attorney
- District Attorney of Philadelphia
- San Diego County District Attorney
- San Francisco District Attorney's Office
- Legal and Judicial History of New York By Alden Chester, Lyman Horace Weeks, John Hampden Dougherty - Published by National Americana society, 1911
- Geoffrey Hermalyn and Lloyd Ultan, "Bronx" in The Encyclopedia of New York City (1st edition), edited by Kenneth T. Jackson, New York Historical Society and Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, 1995, ISBN 0-300-05536-6, page 140.
- Except 1901 to 1905, when the D.A.'s term was four years, but two mayors served a two-year term each.
- "Hogan, District Attorney 32 Years, Dies". New York Times. April 3, 1974. Retrieved 2013-11-29. "Frank S. Hogan, the shy, courteous lawyer who became a legend in 32 years as Manhattan's District Attorney, died yesterday at St. Luke's Hospital. Mr. Hogan was 72 years old and lived at 404 Riverside Drive."