THE BRONX — The Bronx Democratic Party unanimously nominated the borough's longtime District Attorney Robert Johnson to be a New York State Supreme Court Justice on Thursday night, paving the way for party leaders to select a new county prosecutor, sources said.
Johnson, the first African-American DA in New York, has been the longest serving DA in the history of The Bronx. He announced his decision to pursue a judgeship on Friday afternoon, saying that he would step down from his current position if the party nominated him to be a state judge.
Appellate Division Judge Darcel Clark was nominated to be the borough's new DA, according to sources.
Clark received her law degree from Howard University in 1986 and worked in the Bronx District Attorney's Office from August 1986 until April 1999, when she was appointed as a judge for New York City Criminal Court and assigned to New York and Bronx Counties.
In November 2004, she was appointed as an acting judge for the New York State Supreme Court, and she was elected to the court a year later. In November 2012, she became a designated associate justice for the court's appellate division.
Clark also teaches at the Monroe College School of Criminal Justice.
Johnson said he had planned to run for reelection as Bronx DA if he was not nominated for the judgeship and will now run for election as a judicial candidate in November.
However, he did not announce this decision until after he had already won the primary, meaning leaders of the Bronx Democratic party can now choose his replacement candidate for the Nov. 3 election.
Given that The Bronx is a Democratic stronghold, the party's candidate is virtually guaranteed to win.
Additionally, members of the Bronx Democratic County Committee put a lot of pressure on elected officials to make sure that their delegates came to Thursday night's convention, despite the fact that most of these delegates did not even know who was on the ballot apart from Johnson, according to a staffer for a member of the state assembly.
"The Bronx Democratic County is pressuring offices to ensure that their judicial delegates come to the nominating convention this Thursday," the staffer said. "They have not told us who is on the ballot. The judicial delegates have no idea who is on the ballot except for DA Johnson."