Bronx DA Candidate at Center of Controversial Rikers Case
The leading candidate for Bronx district attorney has been receiving plenty of criticism over the circumstances of her nomination. Now, NY1 has learned that Darcel Clark played a previously undisclosed role in the case of Kalief Browder, a Bronx youth who committed suicide earlier this year after he had been held at Rikers Island for three years without trial.
Charges were ultimately dropped against Browder and his court record sealed, but documents obtained by NY1 show Clark was the presiding judge for six of Browder’s court dates. That includes February 17, 2012, when the case was delayed because the prosecutor assigned to it was on vacation; the next day, Browder attempted suicide in his jail cell.
In an interview on “Inside City Hall” Thursday, Clark told NY1 Political Anchor Errol Louis that she can’t recall presiding over Browder’s case but believes that lessons can be learned from it.
“Honestly, I cannot say that I remember it. I mean, I was there for 13 years. I sat on a lot of cases. But look, the Kalief Browder case is a tragedy. And no one should have to sit in jail for three years on a robbery case, or any type of case. And if I’m elected DA, again, with those internal controls that I expect to institute and the vertical prosecutions, nothing like that will happen,’’ Clark said.
Clark was nominated after current Bronx DA Robert Johnson announced he would seek a judgeship, rather than re-election.
That move allowed the Bronx Democratic party to hand pick his replacement.