Ken Thompson has spent the first 13 months of his term giving sweetheart plea deals to hasidim, dissing anti-child-sex-abuse advocates and victims alike, and overturning the convictions of men his predecessor wrongly convicted. And now it seems Thompson has also turned detectives on the city's payroll into his family's personal errand boys, forcing them to pick up his laundry and take out his family's garbage.
Above: Kenneth "Ken" Thompson
The New York Post reports:
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson orders detectives on his security detail to pick up his meals and dry cleaning and do other menial chores — and if they refuse, they’re assigned to dead-end cases, current and former law-enforcement sources charge.
Thompson has already reassigned 15 members from the detail, which consists mostly of DA Squad investigators — a team of highly skilled detectives, many former NYPD, who would normally probe organized crime, narcotics, cold-case homicides and other vital cases, sources told The Post.
But many of these gumshoes were put on Thompson’s personal security squad, including an “advance team” that scopes out venues before the Democratic district attorney arrives.
“He thinks he’s the president,” one source said. “Before he goes to any event, he has two guys scout to make sure it’s safe. Instead, they could be working on cases.”
Another source with knowledge of the office corroborated this tale.
“He’s a psychopath,” the source said. “There is no DA I know of in the state who has his own advance team.”
The detectives — whose pay starts at $41,000 and can reach the mid-$70,000 range, not counting overtime — have become high-priced, 24-hour errand boys, multiple sources told The Post.
He’s a psychopath. There is no DA I know of in the state who has his own advance team.
Detectives are sometimes expected to pay for, pick up and deliver takeout food to the Thompson family.
“Some of them haven’t been reimbursed,” one source said. “They’re afraid to push the issue.”
Thompson also tasks investigators with taking out the trash at his $1.6 million Clinton Hill brownstone.
“The DA and his family members open the front door of their home and leave the garbage on the step of their brownstone,” a source said. “The investigator is expected to take the garbage to the curb.”
Any detail member with the temerity to question the prosecutor’s flamboyance gets bounced, according to multiple sources.
One detective was booted for asking, “Who paid for all this?” at Thompson’s elaborate February 2014 inauguration, which drew 800 people to Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Contacted by The Post, John Fleming, president of the Detective Investigators Association, insisted his office would probe the claims.
“We will address this issue,” he said. “If our detectives feel their rights are being violated, we’ll help them in any way we can.”
A spokeswoman for the DA’s Office said Thompson has an “advance man — not a team — and this is in keeping with security protocol.” She did not address claims that investigators were reassigned or transferred, but denied that they ran errands.
Thompson, a former federal prosecutor and defense attorney best known for representing the Manhattan hotel maid who accused French statesman Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, also fancies himself a “superstar.” A Black History Month display at the DA’s Office in Downtown Brooklyn shows Thompson’s picture framed by a big star — as big as President Obama’s photo on the wall, and much bigger than most other luminaries.
At the 2014 office Christmas party, the imperious prosecutor demanded royal treatment and rolled out a red carpet for his entrance at The Dumbo Loft in Brooklyn. Each bureau of the DA’s
Office also had a time slot for taking a photo with Thompson on the carpet, sources say.
“He wanted to walk in on a red carpet, so he had one set up,” one source said. “He thinks he’s King Tut.”
Thompson won’t even take the office elevator at work. Instead, he uses the freight lift, current and former employees told The Post.
And he’s also working to erase every last trace of his predecessor, former DA Charles Hynes. At the office’s Family Justice Center, Thompson removed a photo of a young Hynes with his mother, a victim of domestic violence to whom the center was dedicated.
In December 2013, The Post reported that Thompson ordered staff to replace the toilet seat in the DA’s private bathroom before he took the reins.
“It’s funny when you can get to where you’ve been trying to go for a while, and then you can’t even be gracious about it,” one local official said.