Lawyers for the son of a former City Hall aide said they will sue a New Jersey prosecutor for misconduct, and accused her of withholding evidence from the grand jury when she secured a manslaughter charge against their client.
Khari Noerdlinger, 21, whose mother, Rachel, was a top aide to Mayor de Blasio’s wife, was cleared of manslaughter charges in September after a surveillance video showed he was defending himself when a 16-year-old was stabbed to death on an Edgewater, N.J. street corner in 2016.
Noerdlinger still faces obstruction and weapon charges, but a Bergen County judge approved a pretrial program that will wipe the charges from his record after six months.
In the meantime, Noerdlinger’s lawyers, Jeffrey Lichtman and Lee Vartan, want to hold a prosecutor accountable for punishing Noerdlinger, an outnumbered robbery victim who managed to escape with his own life.
Noerdlinger was arrested after he fought off three attackers on Feb. 1, 2016. During the fight, he fatally stabbed Savion Lewallen in the leg, cutting a femoral artery.
“Now that the case is over, we will initiate a lawsuit against the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office,” Lichtman said.
“Those law enforcement officers who have sworn to uphold the law will now themselves be required to face justice.”
Lichtman said Danielle Grootenboer, an assistant Bergen County prosecutor, and a detective, James Costello, lied and withheld evidence from the grand jury that indicted Noerdlinger. Lichtman said the grand jury was never told that Noerdlinger’s other attackers had weapons.
A spokeswoman said the prosecutor’s office had no comment on the matter.
Rachel Noerdlinger was a top aide to city First Lady Chirlane McCray. She stepped down from her $170,000-a-year post in 2014 after a string of embarrassing disclosures, including a revelation that her live-in boyfriend was convicted of manslaughter.
By Leonard Greene
Source: NY Daily News