Bob Morgenthau has always been known as the D.A. that won’t let go after all, he’s occupied the office for the last three decades. Nevertheless, many Hogan Place insiders were surprised last week when the Boss, as Morgy is known, announced he wasn’t taking vacation this year. (Meaning, of course, that neither were many of his top chiefs.) One prosecutor says the Boss usually goes to Martha’s Vineyard in August, but with an upcoming contested primary to replace him, Morgenthau wants to stay in town and push for his pick, Cyrus Vance Jr.
Other prosecutors say the upcoming primary has turned some of their cases political. “Nobody is going to get a fair shake between now and September,” says another Hogan Place veteran. Inside the investigative division, this prosecutor says, there is internal pressure to make “the headline cases” before the primary. Both sources say that some prosecutors are furious because they are being forced to rush investigations, which could result in sloppy cases or missed opportunities.
These concerns aren’t new. In a recent interview, Morgenthau told me that the rush to make cases has nothing to do with the primary. He pointed to the massive caseload he wants to finish up before he retires. “I’m underwater,” he said a few months ago. “We’re just submerged at the moment. The place is a mess. I haven’t been able to dig myself out from the time I announced I was going to take early retirement.”