Attorney Daniel Kogan is no longer the Republican nominee for Queens district attorney and the GOP appears to be leaning toward a “regular Joe” to take on Queens Borough President Melinda Katz in November’s general election.
Kogan was nominated to the state Supreme Court during the Queens County Republican Party judicial convention Wednesday night, Aug. 14.
“He did get the nomination for state Supreme Court and he accepted the nomination,” Queens Republican Chairwoman Joann Ariola confirmed to QNS on Aug. 15.
By law, the vacancy enables the Queens GOP committee to select a replacement candidate. Multiple sources in Republican circles told QNS that momentum is gaining for defense attorney Joseph Murray to replace Kogan on the Republican line for Queens district attorney in November.
“Joe Murray has approached us and he is interested, and now that the party line has been vacated, we’ll see,” Ariola said. “I have met with him, yes, but he has not met with the state committee so he is not yet a candidate.”
Murray is a 52-year-old former police officer; he spent much of his 15 years with the NYPD with the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights as well as the Queens North Task Force in Flushing. Murray grew up in Howard Beach and currently resides in Bellerose.
His firm is located on Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens, just across from the Queens district attorney’s office.
“I look at it from my office window, it wouldn’t be much of a move,” Murray said in an interview with QNS. “I hope I become the nominee because I would love and be honored to be the man.”
Murray was a supporter of retired Judge Greg Lasak, who finished third in the Democratic primary.
“I would be honored to run even though I’m a Democrat, I’m a conservative Democrat and after watching all of the DA debates I got fed up with all of the politics,” Murray said. “I’m so sick of politicians and they shouldn’t run for the DA’s office. If I were to win I’m going to be like a category 5 storm, I’m gonna tear up the politicians.”
One might describe Murray, a former member of the NYPD Boxing Team, as someone who doesn’t pull any punches. His departmental career ended in fisticuffs with a fellow officer — a tale Murray retells on his law office’s website.
In 1993, he was arrested while on duty and in uniform and charged with felony assault after breaking the jaw of another on duty NYPD officer at Manhattan’s 10th Precinct.
“He threw the first punch and I was a little bit better, I was the heavyweight on the NYPD boxing team,” Murray recalled. “I didn’t mean to bust his jaw.”
A grand jury failed to indict Murray but the NYPD still sought to terminate him. He retained the services of famed attorney, Bruce Cutler, who negotiated a plea which allowed Murray to accept a suspension for the department charges without admitting any guilt.
Murray was still being civilly sued by the injured officer.
“By that time I was flat broke after the attorney’s fees and a divorce,” Murray said. “So I represented myself in Manhattan Supreme Court and after a two-week trial I won and the judge, God love her, she told me I should go to law school.”
Murray had followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the NYPD at age 20 so he didn’t have a college degree.
“So I went to Queens College in Flushing, then I went to CUNY Law School right behind the college on Main Street back then. Then I passed the New York state bar exam on the first try,” he added.
Murray remarked that his life story would make a great movie.
“It’s an incredible story and everyone’s always asks me when is the movie coming out,” Murray said. “Now I can tell them maybe when I’m elected DA.”