With less than five weeks to go before early voting begins for the Democratic primary, retired Judge George Grasso was endorsed by the Uniformed Fire Officers Association (UFOA) of NYC on May 4 in his campaign to unseat Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
The UFOA is the union for lieutenants, captains, battalion chiefs, deputy chiefs, medical officers and supervising fire marshals in the FDNY.
“Judge George Grasso spent over 30 years in the NYPD before being appointed to the court,” UFOA President Lieutenant James McCarthy said. “He has presided over courts in Queens, The Bronx and Brooklyn and has developed programs to help people, giving them the skills to become law-abiding citizens. Many of the 7,600 active and retired members of the UFOA live and work in Queens. Whether Fire Officers are on duty in the firehouse or walking around their block, they work to make Queens safer.”
Before he stepped down as administrative judge for criminal matters in Queens Supreme Court in August to run for Queens district attorney, despite having two years remaining in his term, Grasso rose through the ranks of the NYPD from a rookie beat cop in the 113th Precinct to the level of deputy commissioner for legal matters before becoming a member of the judiciary.
“Judge Grasso, like our members, has also spent his life and career working to make our city safer,” McCarthy said. “ We know that by electing Judge Grasso as Queens District Attorney, we will be doing our part to make Queens — and our city — a better, safer place to live and work.”
Grasso, a Douglaston resident for the past 40 years, has also been endorsed by his old boss, former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton. He also rallied on the steps of Borough Hall with grassroots supporters last month where he also received endorsements from 11 law enforcement organizations and community members.
The endorsement from the UFOA had a special significance for Grasso, who on the morning of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center was designated as the NYPD’s liaison to the FBI.
“Fire Officers protect our city and respond to New Yorkers in their greatest times of crisis. The bonds between the FDNY and the NYPD as defenders of the city run deep,” Grasso said. “Over my 30-year NYPD career, and most pointedly on Sept. 11, 2001, I saw firsthand how dangerous first responders’ work can be. District attorneys must actively work to protect first responders, as assuring that they have the safest work conditions possible is the least we can do for the people who put their lives on the line every day to protect us.”
Grasso explained how the district attorney, the borough’s top law enforcement official, can impact the lives of first responders every day.
“Enforcement of the law directly contributes to the safety of first responders, whether it be by properly enforcing building codes, prosecuting arsonists to the fullest extent, or combating violent and dangerous recidivists on our streets,” Grasso said. “Receiving the endorsement of the UFOA exemplifies their faith in my experience and platform. It is an honor to have the backing of such a distinguished group of men and women.”
Katz was endorsed earlier this month by the United Firefighters Association which represents the larger rank-and-file of the FDNY.
Jamaica public defender Devian Daniels is also challenging Katz’s re-election bid in the June 27 Democratic primary.