You are reading

Candidate Running on “Crimefighter’ Platform Launches Borough President Campaign

Jim Quinn (Jim Quinn for Queens campaign)

Jan. 12, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A former Assistant District Attorney has entered the Queens Borough President race, running as the tough-on-crime candidate among a group of left-leaning opponents.

Jim Quinn kicked off his campaign at a reception at Villa Erasmo in Middle Village Wednesday night, with a special election for the position to be held March 24.

Quinn, a lifelong Queens resident who lives in Richmond Hill with his wife, is aiming to make the switch to Borough Hall after working in the Queens District Attorney’s Office for 42 years.

He resigned from his position as Executive Assistant District Attorney of the Trial Division in December — just prior to Melinda Katz taking over the position as top prosecutor and installing a new executive team.

He is running on a campaign to “Keep Queens Safe,” positioning himself as a crime fighter who will protect Queens residents.

Quinn said he decided to run for Queens Borough President to use the position as a bully pulpit to speak out against the closure of Rikers Island as well as the new state bail laws, which ended pretrial detention and cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.

“When I decided to leave the DA’s Office in early December, I wanted to have a platform to talk about these two issues and to bring certain things to the attention of the public and politicians,” Quinn said.

Quinn has been an outspoken critic for some time against the closure of the Rikers Island prison facility, which the city plans to replace with four borough-based jails including one in Kew Gardens.

“I’ve been opposed to the closing of Rikers for the longest time — I’ve studied it, I’ve looked at it and I think it’s irresponsible on part of the city,” he said.

He also says that the new state bail laws need to be changed, arguing that the city will see more dangerous criminals on the streets. Advocates for these reforms, however, argue that cash bail criminalizes poverty and keeps poor New Yorkers incarcerated for minor offenses, while the wealthy walk free.

However, as borough president Quinn would have no authority to stop Rikers from closing or repeal state laws. While he acknowledges that fact, he said a Quinn victory would send a message to politicians that Queens is against the closing of Rikers Island and the bail law changes.

He also plans to host public hearings on these issues — an option within a borough president’s purview.

“I would hold legitimate public hearings about the effect that closing Rikers and releasing all these inmates will have on the community,” Quinn said. “I would do everything in my power to stop the city’s plan to spend approximately $10 billion to build [four community-based jails].”

Instead, he wants the city to rebuild the existing Rikers facilities. The city, however, has already begun the land use process to prevent future jails from being built on the island.

Quinn said he considered running for Queens District Attorney, but ultimately decided against it. He said he was concerned with how it would affect the office while he was campaigning, since he was on the executive team.

  • The former Assistant DA grew up in Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City and lived there until he was married. He attended public school in the area and graduated from Columbia University and later Fordham Law School.

  • Quinn joins a crowded field of candidates including Council Members Donovan Richards, Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides; former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley; and police reform advocate Anthony Miranda.

He said he stands out from the other candidates because he’s not a politician “looking to move up on the political food chain” and isn’t beholden to any groups.

“I am trying to appeal to responsible people throughout Queens County,” he said. “I’m appealing to people who will look at the issues not passionately, but rationally and look at these things as to what effect they’re actually going to have on the lives of the people of this county.”

email the author: [email protected]

14 Comments

Click for Comments 
Rusty McDowell

Would rather not have a cop for Borough president. If he grew his hair out and started smoking crack, he’d look a lot like Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant btw…anyway, that’s the vibe I’m getting from this guy.

21
38
Reply
Harry Bingham IV

No chance for uber-qualified White males in the new “progressive” era. None. Exhibit A: Lasak Exhibit B: Quinn.

26
35
Reply
Why does the Radical Right want everything to be PC?

Sorry they hurt your feelings because of your identity politics. Trump had 0 experience the day he was elected, why do they need more?

16
4
Reply
I agree, Trump had zero political experience, so it doesn't matter how much that Lasak or Quinn has

And you voted for him because he was a game show host.

He lives in a golden tower with his name on it when he’s not flying on the taxpayer dime to his mansion, the largest in Florida, to play golf.

You know the working class candidate 😂

But you have a great point, 4 years = 4 years.

12
Reply
Charles Martel

I voted for him because I wanted to vote for him. And I’m going to do it again.

23
4
I agree, the working class is voting for the billionaire that cheated on his pregnant wife with a porn star

Thank you for agreeing: it doesn’t matter how much that Lasak or Quinn has

hart

Lasak ran an ineffectual campaign.
His flyers were amateurishly written. They completely missed mark. He desperately needed a good ad writer.
People did not know who he was.

6
8
Reply
Jennifer_F

Jim Quinn is absolutely brilliant – and has total contempt for DeBlasio.
When he was with the DA’s office, he taught our Board why the Mayor’s wish to close Rikers was a dangerous idea.
He helped fight the Mayor’s dream of building a 24 story tower jail in a family area of Kew Gardens.
He punched holes in the Mayor’s slick powerpoint.
Jim Quinn for Queens Borough President!!!!!!!

1044
4
Reply
He can't do anything about Rikers lol

Yeah he said some stuff, big whoop.

He also pushed for early plea deals to scare people into pleading guilty before they even know what they stand to be indicted for! A gimmick to push up conviction stats while the jails get more overcrowded, creating the needs for more jails. Oh and there was already a jail in Kew Gardens, you’re so gullible.

4
4775
Reply
whyIleft

Ah if only he could win. Unfortunately it is too late for Queens, and the rest of the city. Politicians and citizens are too far left, pro criminal, and /or looking for handouts. Very sad. Once a diverse great city that worked.

1757
2
Reply
jobeth

From what I saw at board meetings, the “pro criminal” groups were bussed in from out of our area, apparently paid for their services.
Most people assumed developers from Manhattan/Brooklyn were behind them, and are (we think) paying off politicians, like Dear Mayor to hurt Queens so that it doesn’t not compete.
Most voters in Queens are pretty conservative.

10
16
Reply
Is there a single reason to believe that?

Not saying you’re really gullible, but do you have ANY evidence that “‘pro criminal’ groups were bussed in from out of our area, apparently paid for their services?”

Obviously you’re completely wrong and that’s a total lie.

6
4
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.