Surrounded on the City Hall steps by supporters from the New York Women’s Bar Association, Leslie Crocker Snyder said she hoped her election as Manhattan D.A. would break one more glass ceiling in the legal profession:
“When I went to the southern district, they laughed at me when I asked for an application for the criminal division. And they said ‘we don’t take women in the criminal division.’ The U.S. attorney happened to be Bob Morgenthau. But that’s the kind of thing that will never happen again.”
(I contacted Morgenthau’s office and will update when there’s a response.)
Snyder went on to say, “I never asked anyone to support me because I am a woman, but I have asked them to support me because I believe I’m the only truly qualified candidate in this race. And I’m a woman. And it’s time for a qualified woman to be the Manhattan district attorney.”
Snyder is running against attorneys Cy Vance and Richard Aborn. The three are debating today at 7:00 p.m. at John Jay College.
UPDATE: Mark Dwyer, a spokesman for Morgenthau, said Snyder is incorrect in her characterization of the hiring practices at the US attorney’s office during Morgenthau’s tenure.
Dwyer said there “certainly was no policy against hiring women.” Dwyer said Pat Hynes, the current president of the New York City Bar Association, was one of the women Morgenthau hired at the U.S. attorney’s office. (Hynes will also co-moderate a debate among the candidates next week).
“People like Ms. Hynes were clearly welcomed,” Dwyer said. He also said the staff of the Manhattan DA’s office was only about 10 percent female when Morgenthau took over, and is now closer to 50 percent.