Press Release

05/31 Quart for Manhattan DA Week in Review

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2021
Contact: Kate Smart
617-510-4803
kate@danquart.com

Quart for DA Raises Over $1.6M Total

Chinese Community Leader Thomas Sung Endorses Quart for Manhattan District Attorney

Quart Calls Out Persistent Abuse of Grand Juries By Career Prosecutors

Quart Discusses Plans To Build Fairer System at New York Jewish Coalition On Criminal Justice Reform Foru

MANHATTAN - This week, Manhattan district attorney candidate Dan Quart announced that his campaign has raised over $1.6 million, with nearly 80 percent of dollars coming from Manhattanites. Chinese community leader and founder of Abacus Bank Thomas Sung also announced his endorsement of Quart in a letter to Chinatown Democratic voters

Finally, Quart stressed how he would reform the office and do away with abusive practices and tools career prosecutors rely on in an article from The Intercept and a forum hosted by the New York Jewish Coalition on Criminal Justice Reform

Read more below.

This week, Quart for DA announced raising over $1.6 million. Nearly 80 percent of dollars raised came from Manhattanites, highlighting the strength of support from real voters that the campaign has built

“From the most endorsements from elected leaders and Democratic Clubs to our fundraising and grassroots support, we are meeting the moment New Yorkers demand: a district attorney’s office that promotes public safety without sacrificing fairness for everyone,” said Quart. “And that almost 80 percent of money raised came from Manhattanites shows that our message is resonating with the voters and puts us in a strong position headed into the final month of the race.

The campaign has been up on television for weeks, is communicating heavily with voters both in person, over the phones, and by mail, and has $556,000 cash on hand headed into the final weeks of the race.

On Thursday, Chinese community leader Thomas Sung endorsed Quart for Manhattan District Attorney in a letter to Chinatown Democratic voters.


“In this troubling time, when hate crimes are rampant against minorities, discrimination is everywhere, and the rights of minorities are being ignored,  we need true and just law enforcement,” said Sung. “ It is of utmost importance that we have a District Attorney who will enforce the law for our safety and protection. Your choice for the DA will make a difference for the next four years.Based on my personal experience, Dan Quart stands out among all other candidates and deserves your vote on June 22nd.”

Following the 2008 financial crisis, none of the major American banks were prosecuted for their role in mortgage fraud. However, throughout his tenure in office, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. did cut “deferred prosecution agreements” with large international banks in exchange for fines. These deferred prosecution agreements are a key way the district attorney can grow their forfeiture fund, Manhattan having the largest.

Abacus Federal Savings Bank, a small community bank founded by Sung to serve the Chinese community, was the only bank indicted by Vance. Having never originated substandard loans, Abacus fought the wrongful charges and won in 2015. The case was portrayed in the Oscar nominated documentary, “Abacus: Small Enough To Jail”.   While Abacus was completely exonerated,  Vance drained them of legal fees and was accused of going after a local community bank while the large banks got bailouts. Quart and other advocates believe Vance went after them because they had no money for a deferred prosecution agreement.

Quart called out how grand juries are misused by career prosecutors and committed to not prosecuting victims of domestic violence for defending themselves against their abuser in an interview with The Intercept.

via Elise Swain/The Intercept

For far too long, the grand jury has been misused as a tool to secure indictments and quick plea deals by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Often, only evidence that supports the prosecution’s case is presented and mitigating evidence that may tell a fuller story is not. This type of one-sided presentation of evidence pressures defendants to take plea bargains and secures indictments without telling the whole story. The Intercept recently examined this practice in Tracey McCarter’s case.

Quart will present all of the evidence to grand juries for their consideration, including mitigating evidence. In cases where the defendant is the survivor of domestic violence, Quart will present the evidence of domestic abuse, regardless of whether it is favorable or unfavorable to the prosecution. This is an urgent reform because a national study by the Vera Institute of Justice found that 86% of women who have ever been jailed also report surviving sexual assault and 77% percent have experienced partner violence.

This is a breakdown in the current system, one used by career prosecutors to expedite cases and secure pleas at the expense of justice. Even if the defendant is later found not guilty, just being indicted for a crime inflicts damage on an individual’s life. Presenting mitigating evidence to grand juries is a critical reform, and one that highlights why a non-prosecutor will be best positioned to reform this office, rather than a former prosecutor who has relied on the practice throughout their career.

“Survivors of sexual or domestic violence will not be prosecuted in my office for defending themselves against their abuser,” said Quart in an interview with The Intercept. “The district attorney’s office has done an abysmal job getting justice for survivors of sexual assault. I will build a survivor-centered Sex Crimes Unit as DA that won’t prosecute survivors for self-defense from their attackers.”

Read the full story here.

At a forum hosted by New York Jewish Coalition on Criminal Justice Reform, Quart laid out his vision and plans to build a fairer system as district attorney.

via Davis Vanguard

Quart discussed how he would handle hate crimes, why longer sentencing does not change behavior or build a safer city and how he would reduce racial disparities in arrests, charging, and sentencing as district attorney.

Read more from Davis Vanguard here.

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About Dan Quart: Dan Quart is one of NYC’s top pro bono attorneys and a New York State Assemblymember representing Manhattan’s East Side. A Washington Heights native who grew up in subsidized housing with working-class parents, Dan was raised by a public school teacher and a social worker who taught him the value of public service. Since graduating law school, he has dedicated his career to standing up for tenants' rights and advocating for criminal justice reform.

As Manhattan’s next District Attorney, Dan will fight to end mass incarceration, hold law enforcement accountable for police brutality, and ensure that all Manhattanites feel safe. Learn more at DanQuart.com and DanQuart.com/Press.