Therese Lendino – NY State Bar # 1873629
Current or Former Bureau Chief in the Queens District Attorney’s Office
Law Professors filed a grievance regarding Therese Lendino’s serious misconduct in a murder case she prosecuted for the Queens District Attorney’s Office (QDAO). In this case, Lendino lifted up testimony she knew was false to the jury in hopes of winning a case where Eric Jenkins was facing the prospect of life in prison.
A Federal District Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that Lendino knowingly failed to correct false testimony by her key witness, attempted to block the defense from correcting the false testimony, reinforced the false testimony through her own deliberately misleading questioning, and repeated the false testimony in her summation. She intentionally violated Jenkins’ rights so she could “win” despite what this would mean for Jenkins’ life.
The Court ended up reversing Jenkins’ conviction because of Lendino’s actions, but QDAO did not even informally admonish Lendino. Instead, QDAO promoted her to the position of Bureau Chief.
Lendino’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.