Staten Island district attorney Daniel Donovan has won a special election for the house seat left open by disgraced congressman Michael Grimm, who pled guilty to felony tax evasion in December, The New York Times reports. Donovan is the same D.A. whose office failed last year to secure an indictment for Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner.
According to the New York Daily News, Republican nominee Donovan handily defeated his Democratic opponent, winning 58 percent of the vote to city councilman Vincent Gentile’s 41 percent, with more than 70 percent of precincts reporting.
One unexplained aspect of Donovan’s treatment of the Garner case is why the D.A. chose to leave a lesser reckless endangerment charge against the officer off the table, a crime more likely to result in an indictment than the negligent homicide and manslaughter charges. However, Garner’s death was never considered a significant issue in the race. From Politico:
A poll commissioned shortly after Grimm’s resignation by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee showed that 58 percent of likely voters in the district approved of Donovan’s handling of the case, and Gentile didn’t press the issue in a district home to a substantial share of New York City’s police officers.
Last year, one Democrat had an even starker assessment: “He could have killed the guy himself and still would get re-elected [as district attorney],” the Long Island resident told The Daily Beast. “Everybody just loves Danny. To them, the guy can do no wrong.”
[Image via AP Images]