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Queens Chronicle

Acting DA Ryan to step down in 2020

Longtime second-in-command to Brown will leave office next year

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Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:30 am

Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan plans on stepping down at the beginning of 2020, according to a spokesperson for the DA’s office.

There hasn’t been a formal announcement yet but he will look to clear the way for the new district attorney.

Democratic Borough President Melinda Katz is running against cop-turned-lawyer Joe Murray, who is on the Republican line. The election is Nov. 5 and the new DA will take office Jan. 1.

Ryan said he is willing to assist if needed, while Katz has stated her desire to reform the office if she is victorious.

In March 2019, Richard Brown announced he would retire in June and Ryan would take over. Brown died in May.

Ryan interned at the DA’s office in the early 1970s. Upon graduating St. John’s Law School, he was appointed as a criminal law investigator and then an assistant district attorney when he was admitted to the New York State Bar the following year.

He went to work for the state Attorney General’s Office but returned to the Queens DA’s office in 1991. For six years he was the senior executive assistant district attorney. In 1997, he was promoted to chief assistant district attorney and spent the next 22 years as Brown’s second-in-command.

In 2016, Brown honored Ryan with the office’s Gene Kelly Award, saying that “Serving the people of Queens County and the cause of justice always has been the only reward he needs.”

According to Ryan’s biography on the Queens DA website, he says the same thing to every new ADA: “Welcome to the best job you will ever have.”

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