Monday, June 12, 2006

Head of Homicide Fred Klein & Nassau District Attorney Rice Part Ways

This came as no suprise to me, having been watching the goings on over on the second floor at 262 Old Country Road, Mineola. I was just suprised it didn't happen sooner.
Nevertheless, as much as it may suprise some, I am not going to use this post to criticize Rice for the decision.

Rice is newly elected and she has a right to her own people. Klein served her predessor (and our county) well. He is a brilliant and hard working attorney. I have often disagreed with him on cases but I always considered him a friend. As such I will miss him. On the other hand I hope that Rice intends to fill the shoes she has caused to go vacant with another outstanding lawyer and not another administrative crony.

What made Fred Klein so effective as a leader and as the Head of Nassau County's Major Offense Bureau was that he tried cases. He could evaluate the matter and when plea bargaining the case with him, you knew he had a good handle on its viability at trial. Hence even when you thought you had a good case, you had to think twice about it if Fred wasn't willing to get rid of it with a fair plea bargain. Even after he took the job as Bureau chief, Fred kept trying cases. It was one of the things I admired about him. I don't know what Fred plans to do now that he is done at the District Attorney's office. I do know that he would make a great private lawyer, assuming he can make the switch from prosecutor to non public trial lawyer. If he decides to stay in public service it will be to the good of all of us.

The Newspaper said that Rice and Klein didn't see eye to eye. OK like I said she is entitled to her own people. As a taxpayer and citizen however, one who has paid for Fred Klein's training and has benefitted from his work, the newbie doesn't get a honeymoon. He or she better know what they are doing from the jump. This work is too important to learn on the job.


Kathy Brown, Esq. said...

Dear Sir: I was one of the many victims for whom Fred Klein gave his all, 'way back in 1989. My husband was killed, and I was nearly killed, by a drunken driver (People v. Thomas Scalzo). Fred obtained a conviction and I subsequently-inspired by him-went on to Law School (Creighton, Omaha) and interned under him while in school.

Fred became a dear friend, and a mentor. He gave me hope at a time when I knew nothing but illness and despair. So when I recently heard re: the 'parting of the ways', I had to laugh. Especially because it was supposedly over the prosecution of drunk driving cases! Fred was prosecuting them like the major crimes they are long before Ms. Rice was even dreaming of same.

And you're right: Fred's the consummate trial attorney. I learned so much from him before I ever hit Law School!

I'm trying to contact him at NYS AGO, where I've no doubt he's serving victims with the same dedication he showed me so many years ago.

Kathy MCCarty Brown, Esq.

Anonymous said...

My experiance with fred klein was awefull.Him and his band of what we like to call them dooshe bag corrupt police team went effortlessly to hang everyone who dare challenge their authority.He in my opinion was and is a huge LIAR.planting lies in the media to sway a case.He belongs in jail,him and all his cronies.Everyone in mineola supports D.A.Rice for firing his sorry ass.In my opinion Fred Klein was and is a criminal still on the loose.He has destroyed many lives and familys in the name of yellow justice.I was a surviving victim of Fred Klein.