NY Gov. Hochul issues warning to Manhattan DA: 'I have options'

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New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul issued a warning to controversial Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and said that she has “options” to deal with the official, who has caused controversy by originally calling for prosecutors to find alternatives to prison sentences for some criminals.

In a meeting with the New York Post editorial board, Hochul said that she’ll be meeting with Bragg on Friday at the governor’s office in midtown New York and added that she knows “full well the powers that the governor has.”

I have options, but I will be monitoring the situation very closely,” Hochul said to the New York Post editorial board. “

While stopping short of directly calling for Bragg’s removal from his district attorney position, Hochul said “I know full well the powers that the governor has — I’ll be having a conversation very shortly to convey, to let him tell me what his plans are and make sure that we’re all in alignment.”  

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference at the Brooklyn Army Terminal Annex in the Brooklyn borough of New York Jan. 20, 2022. 
(Paul Frangipane/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“I have options, but I will be monitoring the situation very closely,” Hochul said. 

When Bragg was asked about Hochul’s comments on Thursday morning by the New York Post, he responded “I’m on a call, sorry.”

Bragg wrote a controversial memo on Jan. 3 which called for prosecutors in Manhattan to find alternatives to prison sentences for criminals convicted of some crimes, asking them to “reduce pretrial incarceration,” unless for “very serious cases.”

Barring certain circumstances, the memo also directed his office to decline prosecuting suspects accused of the following crimes: turnstile jumping, resisting arrest, trespassing and driving without a license, among others.

FILE – Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney, speaks with supporters on election night in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. 
(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

Bragg later said that the memo left “the wrong impression” about his policy plans and said that it “left many New Yorkers justifiably concerned.” 

During a speech at the New York University’s School of Law on Jan. 20, Bragg took “full accountability” for the memo’s confusion and said that it was “unclear and legalistic.”

“The purpose of the memo is to provide prosecutors with a framework for how to approach cases in the best interest of safety and justice. Each case is fact specific,” he said.  

Bragg said that his office “will be prosecuting all robberies of a gun as a felony.” 

According to NYPD data, shooting incidents are up by more than 10% this year compared to January 2021 and major crimes are up by almost 40%.

Democratic candidate for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks to the press after casting his ballot in the New York City election in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 2, 2021.

The meeting comes a week after a New York City two police officers were killed while responding to a domestic violence call involving a mother and her son.

In a separate incident on Jan. 18, a 16-year-old suspect allegedly shot a New York City police officer in a leg.

Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report

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