Ken Thompson’s a regular Captain Queeg when it comes to running the Brooklyn DA’s Office and it is leading to mass defections, if not mutiny.
Thompson is so toxic in his dealings with staff that he has burned through six high-ranking prosecutors, four chief investigators and one deputy chief investigator in the two-and-a-half years since he took office, law enforcement sources said.
The six prosecutors announced their resignation in just the last few weeks, including chief of the Firearms Prosecution Unit Leslie Kahn, chief of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau Gayle Dampf-Littman, chief of the Civil Rights Bureau Marc Fliedner and deputy chief of the Domestic Violence Unit Teresa Fabi.
“They’re all tired of being abused by Thompson and they’re sick of being berated by him,” said one law enforcement source familiar with the situation.
“[Thompson] is a very paranoid guy,” said another source, explaining that the DA also ignored the advice of his irritated investigative chiefs.
“Usually DAs and their chief investigators talk about how to run the investigations and they find common ground,” the source said. “Not with Thompson. He just told them what he wanted and that was it.”
Fliedner, who is known as a “big shot in the LGBT community,” is going into private practice, but will stay on at the DA’s Office for another month, a source said.
Fliedner’s unit successfully prosecuted ex-cop Peter Liang, gaining a jury’s manslaughter conviction in the 2014 shooting death of unarmed Akai Gurley.
But Thompson recommended a no-jail sentence, and in April, a Brooklyn judge sided with the DA, sentencing Liang — who had faced up to 15 years behind bars — to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service.
It is not clear if Fliedener’s departure had anything to do with the Liang case and sentencing, which has led to protests outside the downtown Brooklyn DA’s office and even the DA’s Clinton Hill brownstone.
Dampf-Littman was described by the same source as a “very good prosecutor.”
Fabi is the wife of a powerful Brooklyn judge, Acting Supreme Court Justice William Miller, who is also the supervising judge of Kings County Criminal Court.
Thompson’s steadfast refusal to take advice on how to run investigations also played a role in the departure of the four chief investigators and one deputy chief, who were in charge of some 70 DA detectives tasked with looking into major probes, the sources said.
“It’s shocking to have five chief investigators leave a DA’s office,” said another source close to the matter. “Most of the chiefs in DAs’ offices are there for long periods of time – sometimes decades. It’s very rare to see something like this.”
Soon after Thompson was sworn in on Jan. 1, 2014, Chief Investigator Joseph Ponzi resigned and was replaced by John Bilich, a retired NYPD veteran, sources said.
Less than a year later, Bilich stepped down and another retired NYPD bigwig, Richard Bellucci, took the thankless job.
Bellucci lasted under a year before he put in his papers.
Then it was Horace Norville’s turn.
The former NYPD lieutenant resigned after clashing with Thompson over security issues during a protest after the verdict on Liang outside the DA’s downtown Brooklyn office last week.
“To say [Thompson] yells at people isn’t accurate. He just disrespects them,” a source told The Post about the Norville incident.
Louis Molina, deputy chief of the Detective Investigations Bureau, also quit after a year and four months in the job, sources said.
Thompson’s spokesman, Oren Yaniv, said he wouldn’t comment on personnel matters.
But a source close to Thompson claimed that none of the investigators was forced out and most left for higher-paying jobs.
The prosecutors who had given their notices recently either retired or moved on for better opportunities, not for any other reason, the source added.
Molina, Norville and Fliedner declined to comment. Bilich and Bellucci did not return calls for comment.
Ponzi told The Post that he decided to retire after a long career at the DA’s Office, saying “it was an amicable parting of the ways.”
Fleidner and Dampf-Littman declined to comment. Fabi and Kahn did not return calls for comment.