QUEENS, New York City (WABC) -- Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Thursday that he is stepping down for health reasons.
The 86-year-old has served in the position for the past 27 years.
He was appointed to the job in 1991 by then-Governor Mario Cuomo.
In a statement, Brown said he is proud of his role in the creation of specialty courts like drug courts, mental health courts and veterans courts.
His resignation takes effect June 1.
Here is the full text of Brown's statement:
"It had been my hope that I would be able to finish out this term in office. Unfortunately, that is not to be. Given the current state of my health and my ongoing health issues, it has become increasingly difficult to fully perform the powers and duties of my office in the manner in which I have done since 1991. Accordingly, I intend to resign as District Attorney effective June 1, 2019, the twenty-eighth anniversary of my first assuming this office. In the interim, pursuant to the provisions of subdivisions 3 and 4 of section 702 of the County Law, section 9 of the Public Officers Law, and such other applicable provisions of law, I hereby designate my Chief Assistant, John M. Ryan to exercise the powers and duties of the office of District Attorney while I address my health issues. I will continue to work closely with my staff until my retirement to ensure an orderly transition for this office and for the residents of Queens County. I thank the people of Queens for their much appreciated support over the years. It is has been my honor to serve you. I particularly want to express my appreciation to all those who have worked so professionally and diligently in this office as Assistant District Attorneys, Investigators and members of our support staff. Together we have built what I believe to be one of the finest prosecutor's offices in the country."
PBA President Pat Lynch released the following statement on Brown's retirement:
"Judge Brown's strong and steady leadership as Queens District Attorney will be sorely missed. For nearly thirty years, he and his staff stood shoulder to shoulder with New York City police officers and worked tirelessly to reclaim the borough and our entire city from crime and chaos. It would be impossible to count the lives saved and crimes prevented under his watch. The Queens we know today - a diverse, thriving community and an attractive place to live and do business - would not have been possible without Judge Brown's public safety leadership. His legacy must be preserved, and his work must continue."
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