The Partnership for New York City, the Big Apple’s largest business advocacy organization, will meet with progressive Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg after demanding a sit-down to voice their concerns over details of his stay-out-of-jail free card for criminals.
Some members of the group are so angered by Bragg’s new policies that they are also discussing efforts to recall the newly elected prosecutor, The Post has learned.
The meeting was prompted as complaints from city business leaders poured into the office of Kathryn Wylde, the Partnership’s CEO, beginning last week after a memo from Bragg’s office outlined his new, hyper-lenient policies for prosecutors seeking incarcerations.
Bragg’s memo ordered his staff not to “seek a carceral sentence” except for murders and other extremely violent cases. The memo added that Bragg’s new rule “may be excepted only in extraordinary circumstances based on a holistic analysis of the facts, criminal history, victim’s input (particularly in cases of violence or trauma), and any other information available.”
The order sparked outrage from police officials such as NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell and even from some of Bragg’s fellow Democrats, including Long Island congressman Tom Suozzi, who is running against governor Kathy Hochul in this year’s Democratic primary.
Now members of the business community are voicing their concerns as well. The partnership, with 300 members, represents the city’s largest employers in finance, banking, real estate and retail who are worried about the safety of their employees as the city crime rate soars.
“I have never heard so much spontaneous upset,” Wylde told The Post. “My members are saying ‘what is this?’ I told Bragg that our members are very upset.”
“Of course we’re worried about this,” Wylde said, adding that one prominent business leader believed that, as written, Bragg’s policy would essentially allow a criminal to go free if he robbed a painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art without a gun.
Wylde immediately emailed Bragg demanding a meeting with the group to clarify his policies. The meeting is set for January 21.
“We want to hear how he explains what he’s doing,” she said, adding that Bragg told her press reports “misunderstood” his policies though he has yet to explain those misunderstandings. His office hasn’t denied the contents of the memos that sparked the controversy. A Manhattan DA spokesman didn’t return an email and call for comment.
The meeting with the partnership comes as some city business leaders are in early stage discussion over launching an effort to remove Bragg from office. These leaders thought the recent surge in crime would reverse under new mayor Eric Adams. But they worry better enforcement will be for naught if Bragg has his way.
Unlike in other jurisdictions, there are no recall elections in New York State. But elected officials can be removed for “any misconduct, maladministration, malfeasance or malversation in office,” after an application is submitted by “any citizen resident of such town, village, improvement … to the appellate division of the supreme court.”
Bragg, 48, is a former federal prosecutor and is one of several progressive DAs to win elections in large cities with the help of money from George Soros. Others include Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner, and Kim Foxx in Chicago.
But their policies have come with a significant uptick in crime in these cities, some mayors to reverse anti-policing policies amid a backlash among business leaders worried about the safety of their employees. Many of these business leaders say they will move to places like Florida or Texas rather than deal with the high crime, and high taxes in New York and California.
Others say they would rather fight back against the progressives and have launched recall movements.
“Bragg is very bad,” said one NYC business leader who is looking into the Manhattan DA recall effort. “He’s going to be our focus.”