A legend leaves office

On Dec. 31, Robert Morgenthau, Manhattan district attorney for the last 35 years, left the D.A.’s 1 Hogan Place office the last time as the borough’s top lawman. Among the high-profile cases Morgenthau, 90, oversaw were the prosecutions of “Preppie Killer” Robert Chambers; Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s murderer; and Dennis Kozlowski, the former Tyco C.E.O. convicted of fleecing his company of more than $150 million. There were also several notable wrongful convictions during Morgenthau’s tenure: Five men served more than 10 years jail time in connection with the “Central Park Jogger” rape before their sentences were vacated in 2002; a pair of men spent 14 years behind bars for the 1990 murder of a bouncer at the Palladium dance club on E. 14th St. before it was proven another man had shot the victim; and Fernando Bermudez, just recently released, was unjustly imprisoned 18 years for a 1991 murder on 13th St. stemming from a fight at the nearby Marc Ballroom. “Morgy” was also the model for the district attorney for the first 10 years on the TV show “Law & Order.”