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Ex-Prosecutor to Resume Work on Patz Case, Manhattan DA Says

By John Santore | December 30, 2015 7:26pm
 Joan Illuzzi will join the Manhattan DA's office as special counsel.
Joan Illuzzi will join the Manhattan DA's office as special counsel.
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NEW YORK CITY — Joan Illuzzi will return to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office where she’ll resume work on the Etan Patz murder case.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced Wednesday that Illuzzi has been appointed as special counsel to the DA.

Illuzzi previously worked in the DA’s office from 1988 until 2015, when she stepped down to run as the Republican candidate for the role of Staten Island District Attorney. That race was won by Democrat and former Congressman Michael McMahon.

In her previous time as an assistant district attorney with the Manhattan DA, Illuzzi led the 2015 prosecution of Pedro Hernandez for Etan's 1979 disappearance and alleged murder. Patz, whose body was never found, was 6 years old at the time.

Hernandez's trial ended in a mistrial in May. Stanley Patz, Etan's father, subsequently endorsed Illuzzi for the Staten Island DA position.

Hernandez is scheduled to be retried in 2016, and Illuzzi will be part of the team prosecuting him, Vance announced in his statement.

In 2011, Illuzzi also led the prosecution of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, for an alleged sexual assault against Manhattan housekeeper Nafissatou Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea. The charges against Strauss-Kahn were dismissed in August 2011.

In his statement, Vance said Illuzzi “has dedicated her career and life to public service,” and will “build upon her already stellar record protecting our city.”