BROOKLYN — Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced Tuesday that he's been diagnosed with cancer — for which sources said he had already been treated — and will have to take time out of the office to manage his illness.
"During the absences occasioned by my treatment and recovery, the Kings County District Attorney's office will be led by Chief Assistant Eric Gonzalez, alongside others on the executive team," he said in a press release. "I thank you in advance for your prayers and look forward to rejoining you on the battlefield of justice."
Statement from Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson: pic.twitter.com/mtQpN5Jubn— Ken Thompson (@BrooklynDA) October 4, 2016
Thompson, 50, said that he was "recently" diagnosed, though it was not immediately clear what type of cancer he had.
"As a man of intense faith, I intend to fight and win the battle against this disease,” Thompson said in the statement. “I humbly seek your sincere prayers as I confront this challenge and respectfully ask that you honor my family’s need and wish for privacy during this time.”
The Brooklyn DA had surgery to treat the illness a few months ago and cancer was again discovered in his body, sources said.
Thompson, who is married and has two children, was elected in 2013 after defeating 20-year incumbent Charles Hynes.
Thompson was elected as a reformer and declared in 2014 that his office would decline to prosecute many people caught with small amounts of marijuana.
Thompson was also lauded for successfully prosecuting NYPD officer Peter Liang after the fatal shooting of unarmed Akai Gurley in a dark public housing stairwell.
But Gurley's family later blasted Thompson after he recommended Liang not serve any jail time.
The DA also worked as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn where he was part of a team that prosecuted NYPD Officer Justin Volpe in the 1997 beating and torture of Abner Louima.
Thompson later represented housekeeper Nafissatou Diallo in a civil lawsuit against former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn for sexually assaulting her in a midtown hotel.
The DA was born and raised in New York and his mother, Clara Thompson, was one of the first women to patrol the streets as a NYPD officer, according to his website.
Gonzalez — who has been chosen to help the district attorney during his absences — previously worked for Thompson's opponent Hynes. Thompson kept Gonzalez onboard and quickly promoted him to be his chief assistant.