Former Brooklyn prosecutor Tara Lenish in court for her arraignment, Monday night
Tara Lenich, a former deputy in the DA’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, was arrested Monday morning for illegal wire tapping spanning more than a year, for the purpose of spying on a love interest and possible rival
Lenich, 41, is accused of forging signatures of two or more judges, on more than 20 court orders, spanning more than a year, authorizing a wire tap of a police detective and one of her colleagues
The high-ranking prosecutor in the Brooklyn DA’s office was taken into custody and fired after investigators learned she had conducted the illicit surveillance because of “a personal entanglement between her and [the] detective”
She told other prosecutors these were official IAB taps meant for ‘her ears only’
Posted bail which was set at $25,000 bond, with a $10,000 cash option
A high-ranking prosecutor in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office was arrested on Monday accused of forgery.
The prosecutor, Tara Lenich allegedly used an illegal wiretap to spy on a police detective and one of her colleagues in what a law-enforcement official described as a love triangle gone wrong.
The prosecutor, Tara Lenich, was taken into custody and fired after investigators in the district attorney’s office learned over Thanksgiving weekend that she had conducted the illicit surveillance because of “a personal entanglement between her and the detective,” according to the law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the case. The authorities did not release the name of the detective, a man, or Ms. Lenich’s colleague, a female assistant district attorney.
Lenich was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court late Monday night.
41-year-old Tara Lenich, a deputy bureau chief of the district attorney’s office’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, which specializes in using tactics like wiretaps to combat criminal gangs and drug organizations, was arrested at her office Monday morning by the same squad of investigators who helped her build cases against gang members and drug dealers.
the arrest order states that over the course of nearly a year and a half, Lenich forged the signatures on 20 court orders to wiretap two cellphone numbers, according to a criminal complaint.
Typically, wiretaps are valid for 30 days. They can be renewed by a judge, so Lenich repeatedly forged judges’ signatures to keep the eavesdropping ongoing for about a year and a half. To throw off suspicion, she told fellow prosecutors that she had undertaken a secret investigation on behalf of the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau and was the only person who could have access to the wiretap.
A spokesman for the Brooklyn DA’s office said in a statement on Monday afternoon, said: “As soon as these allegations were uncovered, we conducted a swift and thorough investigation,” adding that Lenich was “immediately terminated” from the office of the District Attorney, while the office has “ordered a comprehensive review of our protocols and procedures to make sure that this abuse of authority never happens again.”
Brooklyn prosecutor Tara Lenish who allegedly forged signatures on 20 court orders to tap two cellphones of her love interests, arrives court for her arraignment, Monday night
Tara Lenich joined theBrooklyn district attorney’s office in 2005 under Charles J. Hynes and often worked on long-term investigations that included the prosecution of a drug gang operating out of a public-housing project in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. In October 2014, Mr. Hynes’s successor, Ken Thompson, put Ms. Lenich in charge of special investigations for the newly formed Violent Criminal Enterprises unit, where she prosecuted several drug and gun trafficking rings.
The law enforcement official said that the Brooklyn district attorney’s office was in discussion with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to see if the federal authorities would eventually take over the case. If a criminal case moved forward at the state level, the district attorney’s office would seek the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle it, the official said.