Party Line, Dec. 15, 2016.
Former Human Rights commissioner Patricia Gatling has announced her bid for district attorney — the first legal eagle to formally do so.
Sources whispered that Gatling was lobbying Gov. Cuomo to appoint her to the seat left vacant after District Attorney Ken Thompson’s death in October. She indicated at the time that she was not interested, but Gatling recently told us she’s all in.
Gatling, who practices law in Manhattan, previously served as the city’s Human Rights commissioner, but the role could haunt her.
Public Advocate Tish James got her sacked from the commission in 2014 after penning a letter to the mayor complaining the office was ineffective under Gatling’s rule, according to an Observer article from the time.
But Gatling says the media got it wrong — James never had issue with her specifically, and she was actually due to leave the agency, she said.
“[James] never even mentioned my name. It had nothing to do with me. I was scheduled to leave in two weeks because that was the deal with the mayor,” said Gatling. “And Tish and I have been friends and continue to be friends. I think it was the timing with the new mayor coming in, people felt like there was animosity.”
James was a rumored hopeful, but a recent Politico article said she’s no longer interested. Her office declined to comment to this paper.
Gatling could face acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Brooklyn Heights lawyer Ann Swern, Bay Ridge attorney Arthur Aidala, judge Shawndya Simpson, and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) in the 2017 election.
Regardless who wins, Gatling said the borough will be in good hands.
“I’m feeling that Brooklyn can’t lose in this race. While I think I’m the most competent of all of them, we don’t know if they are really running or what will happen ultimately,” Gatling said.
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