Cyrus Vance, Jr.

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Cyrus Vance, Jr.
DA Vance.jpg
Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
New York County District Attorney
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Preceded byRobert M. Morgenthau
Personal details
BornCyrus Roberts Vance, Jr.
(1954-06-14) June 14, 1954 (age 60)
New York City
United States
Political partyDemocratic Party
Spouse(s)Peggy McDonnell
Children2
ResidenceNew York City
Alma materYale University
Georgetown University Law Center
OccupationAttorney
Website[2]
Nickname(s)Cyrus "White Shoes" Vance
 
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This article is about the New York County District Attorney. For his father, the former U.S. Secretary of the Army and Secretary of State, see Cyrus Vance.
Cyrus Vance, Jr.
DA Vance.jpg
Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
New York County District Attorney
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Preceded byRobert M. Morgenthau
Personal details
BornCyrus Roberts Vance, Jr.
(1954-06-14) June 14, 1954 (age 60)
New York City
United States
Political partyDemocratic Party
Spouse(s)Peggy McDonnell
Children2
ResidenceNew York City
Alma materYale University
Georgetown University Law Center
OccupationAttorney
Website[2]
Nickname(s)Cyrus "White Shoes" Vance

Cyrus Roberts Vance, Jr. (born June 14, 1954) is an American trial lawyer. He is the incumbent New York County District Attorney (Manhattan), and was previously a principal at the law firm of Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Isaon, Anello & Bohrer, P.C. He is the son of Cyrus Vance, former Secretary of State to President Jimmy Carter.

Biography[edit]

Youth, family, and education[edit]

Vance grew up in New York City. He is the son of Grace Elsie (Sloane) and Cyrus Vance, Sr., who served as Secretary of the Army under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and Deputy Secretary of Defense under President Johnson, then Secretary of State to President Jimmy Carter.

Vance attended Groton School, and then he went on to graduate from Yale University. He then earned his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1982. While in law school, he planned campaign trips for Colorado Senator Gary Hart.

He moved to Seattle, Washington in 1989, and back to New York City in 2005. He and his wife, printer and photographer Peggy McDonnell, have been married for 26 years and have two children, both of whom attended high school in New York City.

Legal career[edit]

Upon graduating from Georgetown, Vance joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s office as an Assistant District Attorney, where he supervised grand jury investigations and prosecuted cases involving murder, organized crime, career criminals, political corruption, international art fraud, and white-collar crime.

In 1988, Vance moved to Seattle because, according to Vance, he wanted to build a name for himself independent of his father's influence.[1] In 1995, Vance co-founded McNaul Ebel Nawrot Helgren & Vance.[2][3] During this time; Vance taught trial advocacy as an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law.

In 2004, Vance returned to New York, where he joined Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Isaon, Anello & Bohrer, P.C. as a principal.

Vance is admitted to the bar in New York State, Washington State, and Washington, D.C., and to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York and Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, and the U.S. Second and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.

Vance is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America – The New York Area’s Best Lawyers[4] and New York’s Superlawyers – Manhattan Edition.[5]

District Attorney Vance at a town hall meeting

Public service[edit]

In addition to serving as an Assistant District Attorney, Vance has been actively involved in sentencing reform policy, conviction integrity and prosecutorial oversight, and has donated his time to the representation of indigent defendants.[citation needed]

Vance was a consulting expert to the Office of Family and Children Ombudsman in its investigation of the Wenatchee child abuse prosecutions, and served as Special Assistant Attorney General representing the state in investigations and litigation. He has served on sentencing commissions in two states, including New York, where he served on the Governor's Sentencing Commission, which helped overhaul New York’s Rockefeller drug laws.[6]

Vance also served, by appointment of the Governor of New York, as a member of the New York State Appellate Division, First Department, Judicial Screening Panel which makes recommendations on judicial appointments.[citation needed] Vance is a member of the Criminal Justice Council of the New York City Bar Association, the Federal Bar Council, and the New York Council of Defense Lawyers.[citation needed]

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Fund for Modern Courts, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation. Cyrus Vance Sr., Vance’s father died of Alzheimer's Disease in 2002.[7]

2009 Manhattan District Attorney election[edit]

In 2008, Vance announced his intention to seek the District Attorney’s office only if current District Attorney Robert Morgenthau decided to retire.[8] On March 9, 2009, ten days after Morgenthau made his decision to retire public, Vance officially announced his candidacy for the office.[9][10] On an April 8, 2009, appearance on Charlie Rose, Morgenthau said of Vance, “I think Vance is by far the best qualified. Good lawyer, fair.”[11] Morgenthau officially endorsed Vance on June 25.[12]

Other public figures who endorsed Vance included former Mayor David Dinkins,[13] Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum,[14] Gloria Steinem, Caroline Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld of The Innocence Project. The New York Times,[15] New York Daily News,[16] New York Post,[17] and New York Amsterdam News[18] also endorsed Vance.

Vance stated that as Manhattan District Attorney, he would develop a program of “Community Based Justice”,[19] in which teams of prosecutors would be aligned to specific precincts and communities so as to develop a working relationship with community members, police officers, and local organizations. According to Vance, the Community Based Justice Program would make crime reduction a central measure of performance. Vance has also proposed a plan designed to reduce the year-long case backlog in the New York Criminal Court where the overwhelming majority of criminal cases are brought.[20] In addition to processing cases, Vance has expressed his commitment to establishing a conviction integrity panel to carefully review allegations of wrongful conviction and promoting alternatives to incarceration that do not compromise public safety.[21]

Vance states that he has always been opposed to the death penalty.[22]

Vance emerged victorious after facing former judge and 2005 D.A. candidate Leslie Crocker Snyder, and Richard Aborn, another former Assistant District Attorney and gun control advocate, in the September 15, 2009, Democratic primary.[23] The victory ensured that Vance became the fourth person to run the office since 1941, given the traditional absence during Morgenthau's tenure of a Republican backed opponent.[24]

On November 3, 2009, Vance won the general election with a 91 percent share of the votes cast.[25]

Manhattan District Attorney[edit]

Vance was sworn into office as the Manhattan District Attorney on January 1, 2010. Within a few months, he established or consolidated numerous new bureaus and units in an effort to modernize the District Attorney's Office. Vance's administration established a Conviction Integrity Program,[26] Crime Strategies Unit,[27] Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau,[28] Forensic Sciences/ Cold Case Unit,[29] Hate Crimes Unit,[30] Public Integrity Unit,[31] Special Victims Bureau,[32] and Vehicular Crimes Unit.[33][34]

District Attorney Vance speaks at a February 2011 press conference

Notable cases[edit]

Vance's recent successes include the sentencing of a serial rapist to 428 years to life in prison;[35] sentencing of a man to 23 years to life in prison for a domestic violence murder;[36] indictments against 26 individuals living in Manhattan who possessed graphic images of child sexual assault;[37] the sentencing of a man to at least 15 years in prison for a 2000 rape; a sentencing of a man to 25 to life in prison for a 1997 home invasion and murder;[38] an indictment against another man for a 1986 rape and murder;[39] and the guilty plea of a man for attacking a woman in the restroom of a bar in Hell's Kitchen.[40]

Vance has also won convictions in an October 2009 drunk-driving incident that killed 11-year-old Leandra Rosado, resulting in the creation of Leandra's Law; and a case of two men in a 2005 murder-for-hire plot. In January 2011, the District Attorney's Forensic Sciences/ Cold Case Unit announced an indictment against noted serial killer Rodney Alcala for two Manhattan homicides in the 1970s.

District Attorney Vance at June 2011 press conference on child assault

Vance's newly created Major Economic Crimes Bureau has won convictions in the $120 million-dollar art fraud prosecution of the Salander-O'Reilly Gallery, the gallery's president Lawrence Salander and director Leigh Morse, in which Robert De Niro, Jr. was one of the principal witnesses for the prosecution;[41] a $100 million-dollar securities fraud scheme in which Yale University was one of the victims;[42] a $100 million-dollar mortgage fraud case;[43] and a $7 million-dollar Ponzi scheme.[44] The District Attorney's Office in June 2011 announced indictments in a conspiracy involving 11 corporations who evaded U.S. economic sanctions on Iran by funneling tens of millions of dollars through Manhattan banks.[45] To date, Vance's administration has brought hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to New York City.[46]

Cyrus Vance is currently prosecuting programmer Sergei Aleynikov for duplicating computer code from Goldman Sachs, following the reversal of his federal conviction by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Although the state case has not yet been presented in court, some have criticized Vance's prosecution.[47]


Dominique Strauss-Kahn case[edit]

Vance initially came under criticism by the media for his handling of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case, where the French head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested based on the accusations of an employee of the Sofitel hotel.[48] However, Vance was praised by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg,[49] former Mayor Ed Koch, former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau,[50] and other prominent litigators and government officials for adhering to prosecutorial protocol and acting with integrity.[51] Vance has also been applauded in editorials by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Daily News for making a "tough but fair and just call" in "an exceptional case" in which a woman made a credible accusation against a very powerful man.[52][53][54][55] The Wall Street Journal wrote: "DSK got neither more nor less than he deserved—something for which he can blame, and thank, Cy Vance and America's justice system."[53]

Affiliations[edit]

Vance serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Police Athletic League of New York City, a non-profit youth development agency that helps inner-city children.[56]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eligon, John (August 18, 2008). "Getting Ready for a Race, Just in Case There’s a Spot". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  2. ^ "About McNaul Ebel". McNaul Ebel Narwot & Helgren LLC. 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.". Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer, P.C.,. 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Advertisement". Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Cyrus Vance, Jr.". Key Professional Media, Inc. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  6. ^ New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. "Sentencing Commission Calls for Drug Law Reform". Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  7. ^ ArlingtonCemetary.net (2009). "Cyrus Roberts Vance, Lieutenant, United States Navy and Public Official". Michael Robert Patterson. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Vance’s Chance to Succeed Morgy?". New York Magazine. February 18, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  9. ^ Trotta, Daniel (February 27, 2009). "Manhattan DA Morgenthau to Retire after 35 Years". Reuters. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  10. ^ Press Release (March 9, 2009). "Cy Vance Announces Candidacy For Manhattan DA". Cyrus Vance for Manhattan DA. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  11. ^ Charlie Rose Show (April 8, 2009). "A conversation with Robert Morgenthau". Charlie Rose. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  12. ^ Elingon, John (June 25, 2009). "Manhattan District Attorney Endorses a Candidate to Succeed Him". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 
  13. ^ Elizabeth Benjamin (April 30, 2009). "Dinkins Likes Mike, But Will Back Thompson For Mayor". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  14. ^ Michael Saul (April 24, 2009). "Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum backs Cy Vance Jr. in Manhattan District Attorney contest". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Manhattan’s District Attorney". The New York Times. August 14, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Daily News Endorses Cy Vance for DA". Nypolitics.com. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  17. ^ Posted: August 31, 2009 (August 31, 2009). "New York Post September 2, 2009". New York Post. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  18. ^ Free Online Access (September 14, 2009). "New York Amsterdam News September 7, 2009". Amsterdamnews.com. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  19. ^ Walder, Noeleen G. (September 14, 2009). "Vance: 'Community-Based Justice'". New York Law Journal. 
  20. ^ Caher, John (October 28, 2011). "Efforts to Cut Criminal Backlog in Manhattan Produce Results". New York Law Journal. 
  21. ^ "LETTER; Alternatives to Jail". The New York Times. October 22, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2009. 
  22. ^ Saul, Michael (April 23, 2009). "District Attorney hopefuls trash rival Snyder's flip on execution". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  23. ^ Chen, David W.; Eligon, John (September 16, 2009). "Vance Captures Nomination for District Attorney". The New York Times. Retrieved September 16, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Vance is winner in primary vote for prosecutor". The New York Times. September 16, 2009. p. 1. 
  25. ^ "NYC Election Results". NYPost. November 4, 2009. Retrieved November 4, 2009. 
  26. ^ Eligon, John (March 4, 2010). "Prosecutor in Manhattan Will Monitor Convictions". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ Eligon, John (May 25, 2010). "Top Prosecutor Creates a Unit On Crime Trends". The New York Times. 
  28. ^ Rothfeld, Michael (December 30, 2011). "D.A. Cracks Down On Internet Crime". Wall Street Journal. 
  29. ^ Baker, Al (June 14, 2011). "In Manhattan, District Attorney Sees DNA as Tool to Solve Cold Cases". The New York Times. 
  30. ^ "D.A. Vance Announces Hate Crime Unit". SoHo Journal. 
  31. ^ Rubenfeld, Samuel (October 20, 2010). "Manhattan DA Announces New Unit To Investigate Public Corruption". Wall Street Journal. 
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ "Manhattan D.A. Expands Vehicular Crimes Unit". NY1. May 27, 2010. 
  34. ^ Eligon, John (May 28, 2010). "Prosecutors Get Along, and a Crime Unit Gets a Lift". The New York Times. 
  35. ^ Ross, Barbara (December 12, 2011). "Manhattan serial rapist Vincent Heyward socked with 428-year sentence Victims describe the lasting horror of his brutal knife-point attacks". New York Daily News. 
  36. ^ "Jesus Alejandro Sentenced For Brutal Murder Of Girlfriend". CBS New York. November 28, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Manhattan DA: Massive Child Cyber Porn Sting Ends With 26 Arrests". CBS New York. June 14, 2011. 
  38. ^ Vance, Jr., Cyrus R. (June 29, 2011). "District Attorney Vance announces sentencing in 1997 cold case murder". The New York County District Attorney's Office. 
  39. ^ Vance, Jr., Cyrus R. (July 6, 2011). "Man indicted in 24-year-old "cold case" rape murder". The New York County District Attorney's Office. 
  40. ^ Vance, Jr., Cyrus R. (July 18, 2011). "District Attorney Vance announces guilty plea in brutal attack on woman in Hell's Kitchen bar". The New York County District Attorney's Office. 
  41. ^ Boroff, Philip (March 19, 2011). "De Niro Testifies Against Dealer Accused of Stealing Dad's Art". Bloomberg. 
  42. ^ Eligon, John (July 19, 2011). "Lawyer Convicted in $100 Million Stock Swindle". The New York Times. 
  43. ^ Li, David K. (September 21, 2010). "$100M mortgage scam con gets jail time". New York Post. 
  44. ^ "Money Manager De Chimay Sentenced to Three to Nine Years by New York Judge". Bloomberg. March 23, 2011. 
  45. ^ Becker, Jo (June 20, 2011). "Iranian Shipper Accused of Sneaking Money Through N.Y. Banks". The New York Times. 
  46. ^ Grace, Melissa (September 25, 2010). "Virginia girl found eating herself in cage in mobile home; parents Brian and Shannon Gore charged". Daily News (New York). 
  47. ^ Lewis, Michael (September 2013). "Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer?". Vanity Fair (New York). 
  48. ^ "Affaire DSK: l'enquête se poursuit" (in French). Radio Télévision Suisse. July 6, 2011. 
  49. ^ Eligon, John; Rashbaum, William K. (July 5, 2011). "Strauss-Kahn Lawyers and Prosecution Meet". The New York Times. 
  50. ^ Eligon, John (July 7, 2011). "Morgenthau Comes to Vance's Defense". The New York Times. 
  51. ^ "NY1 Online: NY1 Wise Guys 7/5/11". NY1. July 5, 2011. 
  52. ^ Nocera, Joe (July 4, 2011). "The D.A. Did the Right Thing". The New York Times. 
  53. ^ a b "The Judgment on DSK". Wall Street Journal. August 24, 2011. 
  54. ^ "DA Cy Vance made tough but fair and just call to dismiss charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn". New York Daily News. August 23, 2011. 
  55. ^ "The Strauss-Kahn Case". The New York Times. August 23, 2011. 
  56. ^ "Board of Directors". Police Athletic League NYC. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert M. Morgenthau
New York County District Attorney
2010–present
Incumbent