The Staten Island Prosecutor who was unable to secure a indictment in the Eric Garner grand jury is considering a new line of work. Daniel Donovan is mulling over the opportunity to run for congress, according to The New York Observer. Donovan stated today he was “very seriously considering” throwing his hat in the ring to replace Rep. Michael Grimm (R, NY), who announced his resignation last night after pleading guilty to one count of felony tax evasion in connection with a restaurant he managed before he was elected into office. Donovan was placed into the spotlight when he failed to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the July 17 death of Garner.
A bystander captured on video Garner being placed in a chokehold, after Pantaleo and other officers accused him of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Garner told the officers repeatedly, “I can’t breathe” shortly before he died. Pantaleo was brought before a grand jury, where Donovan was the prosecuting attorney, but on Dec. 3, they declined not to indict the police officer. Many have criticized Donovan for not lobbying harder to get a tougher punishment on Pantaleo for using the chokehold which is illegal in New York state, and against the officers who were involved. Donovan released a statement to the newspaper about his congressional aspirations saying:
Last night and this morning, with the announcement that a vacancy will exist, my phone has been ringing off the hook. I am deeply flattered by the enthusiastic expressions of support I have received over the last 12 hours, and I am very seriously considering the race. I will make an announcement after the due deliberation such an important decision deserves.
Taking this seriously like you did with the Garner case? According to state law, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) must request a special election to fill the seat left by Grimm within 70 or 80 days of his announcement. According to insiders, Donovan was the potential candidate Republicans were eyeing as their favorite despite his handling of Garner’s case.