The supervising judge of the Bronx Criminal Court is actively weighing a run for Queens District Attorney next year, sources have told New York Law Journal, bringing the growing list of possible candidates for the seat to six.
Judge George Grasso has led the Bronx Criminal Court since 2016 and oversaw the launch of a program to steer defendants who are at risk of opioid overdose into treatment, the second such program formed in the state.
A source with knowledge of the Queens political scene said that Grasso has discussed his interest about running for DA in the borough next year, when longtime Queens DA Richard Brown’s seventh term ends, and that he met with the law firm of Sweeney, Reich & Bolz, which is influential in Queens Democratic politics.
Grasso did not respond directly to a message requesting comment; a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration said “at this point the conversation is premature” and neither confirmed nor denied if the judge has expressed interest in running for the seat.
“Judge Grasso remains quite busy,” said OCA spokesman Lucian Chalfen. “Along with serving in the Criminal Court in the Bronx, he is the point person in the ongoing citywide expansion of the of the very successful opioid overdose avoidance and recovery court part pioneered in the Bronx.”
While he works in the Bronx, Grasso has a Queens residence—New York City Criminal Court judges can live anywhere in the city, regardless of where they work, Chalfen said.
Michael Reich, a partner at Sweeney, Reich & Bolz, did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Brown, 85, who ran unopposed for his current term, has yet to announce whether he will seek an eighth term to his seat.
So far, City Councilman Rory Lancman, a Democrat who represents neighborhoods in eastern Queens, has publicly announced that he is running for the seat.
Sources who know Queens politics say other possible contenders include State Sen. Michael Gianaris, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, state Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak and Court of Claims Judge Peter Vallone Jr.
Lasak is set to step down from the bench on Sept. 14.