Jonathan Bandler | Rockland/Westchester Journal News | 1/12/24
A former Westchester prosecutor running for District Attorney was disciplined over his interaction with a female subordinate, eventually losing his job because of it, and still faces a federal lawsuit over the issue.
But Adeel Mirza insists the woman’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her was fabricated and he has no intention of letting it distract him from his effort to return to the office as the county’s elected DA.
Mirza was docked five vacation days and removed from the DA’s hiring committee in early 2020 after top officials under then-District Attorney Anthony Scarpino deemed rookie prosecutor Bianca Brown’s claims about Mirza’s conduct were credible. Mirza, a 17-year-veteran at the time, remained deputy bureau chief in charge of the Greenburgh branch office but was let go when Mimi Rocah became the DA a year later….
Mirza said he has discussed the lawsuit with local Democratic committees and explained that he has been wrongly accused. He believes voters will accept that and are more concerned about criminal justice issues in the county than with a “frivoulous lawsuit.”
“I’m not going to let this derail (my candidacy),” he told The Journal News/lohud. “It’s all untrue.”
Democratic leaders are expected to select a nominee on Feb. 12 but a primary in June remains a possibility.
Party chair Suzanne Berger said she discussed the case with Mirza and he acknowledged being disciplined but denied the lawsuit’s allegations. She said it was important for the information to be out there so party leaders could make up their own minds.
Asked if there was a difference between whether Mirza was disciplined over the allegation of physical contact or just how he interacted with a subordinate, Berger said certainly from a legal standpoint but not necessarily from a political one.
“There are political risks to supporting a candidate (with such allegations) outstanding,” she said.