MANHATTAN (PIX11) — A Manhattan judge dismissed and sealed a criminal case against a former NYPD detective on Tuesday, officials confirmed.
Joseph Franco, an ex-narcotics detective, had been charged with lying about witnessing drug deals. Hundreds of convictions tied to Franco were being reviewed across New York City and others have already been dismissed. Now the charges against Franco have been dismissed, too.
“New Yorkers must know that law enforcement, including prosecutors, are acting with the utmost integrity. We hold ourselves accountable to that standard,” a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said. “After disclosing evidence that violated our discovery requirements, the People today consented to the Defense motion to dismiss the case against Joseph Franco. The presiding Judge dismissed and sealed the case.”
Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Minogue, who was handling Franco’s case, has been removed from her post as a deputy unit chief, the spokesperson said.
“The Post-Conviction Justice Unit will continue its ongoing review of cases affected by former Detective Franco’s misconduct, which has thus far resulted in the vacatur of more than 100 Manhattan convictions,” the spokesperson said.
Franco’s attorney, Howard Tanner, previously described Franco as dedicated to trying to get drugs off the streets. Tanner said Franco was relieved by the case dismissal on Tuesday.
“But how does he get his reputation back? A decorated police officer who honorably served this city for 20 years, he never did anything wrong. This case was baseless and driven from the start by an anti-police agenda in the Manhattan DA’s Office,” Tanner said. “The dismissal of all charges against Joe due to the DA’s repeated withholding and destruction of evidence, misrepresentations on the record and other ethical violations only accelerated an inevitable acquittal by the jury, who stated after they were released, that they intended to acquit my client due to the lack of credible evidence. After five long years, Joe has been vindicated and justice has finally prevailed.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office wasn’t the only one looking into cases involving Franco. Prosecutors in Brooklyn and the Bronx were also reviewing cases tied to the former detective.
A spokesperson for Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said the review into Franco-related cases “has long been completed.” Some cases in the Bronx involving Franco are still being looked at, a spokesperson for Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said. The office there is evaluating the best course of action.