DA dismissing 90 convictions reliant on detective charged with perjury

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez's Conviction Review Unit on Wednesday asked for the dismissal of 27 felony convictions and 63 misdemeanor convictions that were based on the work of an NYPD detective accused of framing suspects.

Video Transcript

- Today, the Brooklyn District Attorney tossed out 90 drug convictions. The move comes after a review of arrests by a former drug detective, Joseph Franco. Now, Franco was charged back in 2019 with perjury and other corruption charges.

Eyewitness News Reporter, Kemberly Richardson, has the story.

- The indictment charge, dismissed, with prejudice.

KEMBERLY RICHARDSON: A ruling that was repeated dozens of times today during virtual hearings in both Supreme and Criminal Courts, Judges dismissing the first of 90 convictions all with ties to former NYPD Narcotics Detective Joseph Franco.

He allegedly lied about drug sales that never happened, testimony that was key to those convictions. In 2018, the first red flags-- the Manhattan District Attorney reviewed several cases and threw them out. Franco was indicted, fired and is awaiting trial.

Today, Brooklyn DA, Eric Gonzalez, did the same.

ERIC GONZALEZ: I can no longer stand by Detective Franco's work. I have lost confidence in his reliability and his accuracy as a detective.

KEMBERLY RICHARDSON: The arrests in Brooklyn happened between 2004 and 2011. Most were low level offenses, 63 misdemeanors. But 27 were felonies.

AIDA LEISENRING: It shows you the unbelievable ripple effect that one individual who wears a shield can have on the lives of-- and I'm willing to say hundreds, if not thousands.

KEMBERLY RICHARDSON: The longest sentence-- three years in prison.

AIDA LEISENRING: Overturning a wrongful conviction is not a substitute for justice, because the damage has already been done. But filing a civil suit against the NYPD and receiving financial reparations for that, that's actually a step towards justice.

KEMBERLY RICHARDSON: But Franco's attorney called the dismissals baseless and irresponsible. Franco denies any wrongdoing.