Former Rockland District Attorney Michael Bongiorno is making a come-back.
He’s returning to the courtroom, announcing in an e-mail to friends and supporters that he’s starting a private law practice – the Law Office of Michael E. Bongiorno.
Bongiorno, a Republican, served as district attorney from 1995 until November 2007, when he lost close race to Democrat Thomas Zugibe.
Bongiorno, a career prosecutor working in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, tried one case during his tenure – the prosecution of an illegal immigrant who murdered a New City mother of two young children. He worked with his chief assistant at the time, Louis Valvo.
Bongiorno, who is married with two sons, had been appointed Rockland’s top prosecutor by then-Republican Gov. George Pataki upon the resignation of Kenneth Gribetz following his two federal convictions. Bongiorno targeted violent criminals, repeat felons, and drug dealers as prosecutor, as Rockland’s reported crime rate decreased.
After losing to Zugibe, Bongiorno spent several years working for the state Attorney’s General’s Office Organized Crime Task Force in White Plains. Andrew Cuomo, now governor, was attorney general at the time.
As a defense attorney, Bongiorno can pick and choose his cases, unless he’s appointed to represent a defendant by a judge.
One potential irony that could develop: He and Gribetz could have co-defendents and go to trial together. Two former district attorneys for the defense.
Below is Bongiorno’s announcement sent out Monday.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Over the past decade I have appreciated your help and friendship. It has now become a time for change in my life. It may be hard to believe, but after 30 years of public service I am opening a private law practice, the Law Office of Michael E. Bongiorno. The attached announcement contains additional information. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you think I can be of assistance.
I wish everyone a safe and happy summer.
Law Office of Michael E. Bongiorno
455 Route 304
Bardonia, NY 10954
Office: (845) 521-3104
Fax: (845) 215-9587
UPPER RIGHT: Michael Bongiorno