Forest Hills Kiwanis to honor former judge
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Dec 05, 2018 | 1015 views | 0 0 comments | 78 78 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Retired Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak has had a busy few months since stepping down from the bench.

In October, Lasak announced that he was running for Queens District Attorney in 2019. The move follows Lasak’s 14-year tenure as a Supreme Court Justice and decades as a prosecutor.

At the age of 24, Lasak began working as an assistant district attorney in Queens. Over the next 25 years, he was promoted to chief of the Homicide Bureau and executive assistant for the Major Crime Division.

His work, dedication and service to the community will be recognized by the Kiwanis Club of Forest Hills at their its Installation of Officers Dinner at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11.

The grandson of Polish immigrants, Lasak was born and raised in Woodside, where he attended St. Sebastian’s and Holy Cross High School. He graduated from Queens College and New York Law School.

Lasak eventually moved to Richmond Hill with his wife, where the couple raised their three children.

As a prosecutor, Lasak worked on numerous high-profile cases, such as the 1995 College Point massacre when three men killed six people during a home invasion, and the 1986 Howard Beach attack in which three black men were chased from New Park Pizza on Cross Bay Boulevard.

Lasak also worked to exonerate Lamar Palmer, who was wrongfully arrested for the robbery and assault of a woman in Queens Village. Palmer, who was 19 years old at the time, was facing nine years in prison.

He was honored by The Innocence Project for his work in overturning wrongful convictions throughout his career.

If he wins the Queens District Attorney race, Lasak said he would hire a team of assistant district attorneys who were diverse and reflective of the borough. He would also require them to attend community board and precinct community council meetings.

“We’d have to find out what the issues are and have a good pulse on what’s going on in the community,” Lasak said. “I would also make sure that the District Attorney’s office was more responsive.”

Since the announcement of his campaign, Lasak has been meeting with various civic groups and reaching out to neighborhoods across Queens.

He wants communities around the borough to know that throughout his career he has been “tough but fair,” and it’s an approach he hopes to continue.

Additionally, he wants Queens residents to know that he’d make sure victims of a crime weren’t made doubly victims by the criminal justice system.

“I’m not a politician,” Lasak said. “Politicians are good people, but this job is too important to not have someone who hasn’t been an ADA, a judge or a defense attorney.

“It’s very serious, this job affects people’s lives,” he added.
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