Denise Tirino – NY State Bar # 2165249
Deputy Bureau Chief of Training for Criminal Court
Law professors filed a grievance regarding Denise Tirino’s professional misconduct in People v. Simpson and People v. Sands, which she prosecuted on behalf of the Queens District Attorney’s Office (QDAO).
In People v. Sands, the Appellate Department found that Tirino violated the trial court’s explicit pretrial ruling by making a false claim about the purpose for which evidence was admitted. In People v. Simpson, the Appellate Division found that Tirino made improper remarks in summation about the defendant’s pre-arrest silence.
Tirino’s documented summation misconduct in two separate cases is especially troubling—and particularly worthy of discipline—because of Tirino’s position in QDAO as the Deputy Bureau Chief of Training for Criminal Court. It is troubling that a prosecutor, whose misconduct courts have explicitly denounced, would be promoted to train, supervise, and mentor new attorneys.
Despite the findings of misconduct, the New York Attorney Detail Report lists “Disciplinary History: No record of public discipline” for Tirino at the time the professors filed this grievance.
Tirino’s misconduct in Queens was far from unique; serious misconduct at QDAO has been regularly reported for years.
Powerful positions require the highest accountability. We cannot reward prosecutors for breaking the rules.