Queens District Attorney Richard Brown's surprise statement that his office declined to prosecute a Spectrum technician arrested for vandalism that cut off web service to 60,000 customers raises strong concerns.
Did he refuse to press charges due to a lack of evidence? Police reports said that Michael Tolve cut fiber optic cables and removed a memory card from a nearby surveillance camera to avoid detection. But footage from another surveillance camera identified him as the culprit.
What more evidence does Brown expect to get from his pending investigation? Why was Tolve's arrest record sealed? That's often done with minors, but Tolve is 48 years old and has worked for Charter and Time Warner Cable for 14 years. He's a member of IBEW Local Three.
Failure to prosecute encourages more sabotage. Another incident in July, only two weeks after the June 26th act of sabotage, cut off service to 30,000 Spectrum subscribers.
Charter claims to have suffered 106 "malicious cable cuts" since IBEW workers began their strike on March 28.
What are Brown's motives for suspending prosecution and what are his plans for the future? He is 84 and has served seven consecutive terms as Queens district attorney since he was first elected in 1991.
That's much longer than any district attorney in New York City. He has no plans to retire and no heir apparent. Does that mean he hopes to run for another term and fears losing union votes if he prosecutes an IBEW member?
We don't know, but deserve an explanation. If Brown doesn't provide it, than “D.A.” stands for “Dodging Answers” and voters will suspend their verdict on him, pending further investigation.
Kew Gardens Hills