NY Post - May 29, 2010by REUVEN FENTON
Citing Morgenthau's longstanding feud with Hizzoner and other top brass, city lawyers moved yesterday to have Manhattan's recently retired district attorney tossed from his new gig overseeing the court-ordered recruitment of more minorities.
"What is indisputable is Mr. Morgenthau's known distaste for the current city administration, including . . . the mayor, the Fire Department and the corporation counsel," the city said in papers filed in Brooklyn federal court.
Earlier this week, Judge Nicholas Garaufis had tapped Morgenthau -- who retired as DA in December at age 90 after 35 years on the job -- as a "special master" to oversee a court order speeding up minority hiring.
But the city claims Morgenthau doesn't have the right experience.
"The candidates for special master suggested by all of the parties were persons familiar with the federal rules as well as in mediation and/or employment litigation," the city said.
"Mr. Morgenthau is not known for his experience in any of these areas."
This is "aggravated by the fact that his primary area of practice for well over a quarter of a century has been criminal law, not civil law," the papers said.
The documents also cited several news reports that the city claimed highlighted Morgenthau's poor relationship with top brass -- including a Post story about a public spat between Bloomberg and Morgenthau over $83 million in forfeiture funds the DA had collected.
The step-up in minority hiring was ordered after the US Justice Department sued the FDNY in 2007.
A subsequent probe of the FDNY's hiring practices showed that blacks and Hispanics accounted for fewer than 10 percent of the city's firefighters last year.
Garaufis ruled that entrance exams used by the department from 1999 to 2002 were intentionally discriminatory.
Morgenthau yesterday said he would do "what is in the best interest of moving this important matter forward."
"My record and independence in my role as district attorney are no secret," he said. "I wouldn't have accepted the position if I didn't think I could be impartial."