By Jonathan Sperling
Local leaders from Queens and around the New York City expressed their grief over the passing of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Brown, the borough’s longest-serving top prosecutor, died Friday night at the age of 86. His funeral will take place Tuesday at 11:30 am at The Reform Temple of Forest Hills, 71-11 112 St.
Brown oversaw a major reduction in violent crime during his career as district attorney, which began with his 1991 appointment by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo.
"The Borough of Queens mourns the loss of a lifelong public servant. We reflect on and honor Judge Brown's extraordinary devotion and distinguished service to the people of Queens,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said in a statement. Katz is also a candidate for Queens district attorney.
“I will forever and fondly remember his kindness to me and to my entire family throughout the years. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with Judge Brown's family — especially Rhoda, their three children and two grandchildren — during this difficult time," Katz continued, referring to Brown wife.
Councilmember Francisco Moya said “It takes a person of uncommon character to serve others with the vigilance and dedication Queens District Attorney Richard Brown did.”
“Till the end, his life was spent in service to his community. He worked every day to make our city safer and more just throughout his 18 years in the New York Judiciary and 28 years as our boroughs top prosecutor,” Moya added.
Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech recalled how Brown “helped make Queens an even better place to raise a family and do business.”
“Last night, Queens lost an iconic public servant in Dick Brown. Judge Brown's service helped shape our borough — by keeping our communities safe, and faithfully and fairly upholding the law, he helped make Queens an even better place to raise a family and do business,” Grech said.
Brown was born in Brooklyn, and served on the bench in Brooklyn Criminal Court, Queens Supreme Court and the Appellate Division, Second Department, before beginning his tenure as DA.
“Brooklyn joins our neighbors in Queens in mourning the passing of their longtime district attorney Richard Brown,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “A native of our borough, Judge Brown dedicated decades of his life to public service. His family and friends are in our prayers in the days ahead.”
Chief Assistant District Attorney Jack Ryan took over the duties of the DA’s office and will serve as Acting DA until a newly elected DA takes over on Jan. 1, 2020.
“Judge Brown’s goal as District Attorney from the very start was to elevate the standard of professionalism by hiring on merit, not political connections. And he made it a priority to have the most talented, capable and dedicated professionals imaginable.” Ryan said in a statement.