Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Top Aide To D.A. Krasner Arrested For Abandoning Child

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Police yesterday arrested a top official in the Philadelphia district attorney's office for allegedly leaving her four-year-old daughter unattended in a parked car.

Cops were on routine patrol on the 200 block of Rittenhouse Street in the Mount Airy section of the city at 3:21 p.m. when they were flagged down by a man who told them a child had been left alone in the back seat of a gray Ford Fusion.

The police made eye contact with the child, unlocked the car door through an open window and took the child into custody. The victim's mother, identified as Dana Lynn Bazelon, 40, of Center City, returned 34 minutes later with her six-year-old son.

The mother told police that she went for a walk with her son and didn't want to wake her daughter because she hadn't been sleeping well. Bazelon told the police that she's an employee of the D.A.'s office, as an assistant district attorney. On her Facebook page Bazelon states that she is a "proud Philadelphian" and "criminal justice reformer" who happens to be a "policy advisor" to D.A. Larry Krasner.

Police placed Bazelon in custody and transported the mother and her two children to the Special Victims Unit, where the four-year-old was reported in good condition.

In 2018, Bazelon was credited with drafting a new policy in the D.A.'s office that made it easier for people with criminal records to get those records expunged, except for those charged with domestic abuse.

She's been employed at the D.A.'s office since 2018, where her salary that year was listed as $82,000. Her current position is senior policy counsel.

Bazelon, who has an extremely close personal relationship with Krasner, was said to be under consideration for becoming his chief-of staff with the recent departure of Arun Prabhakaran. The former chief of staff in the D.A.'s office who was getting paid $160,000 in 2018 resigned this week to become executive vice president for the Urban Affairs Coalition.

Police charged Bazelon with endangering the welfare of a child. After the cops read Bazelon her Miranda rights, she gave a voluntary statement on video.

She was released without bail. When it comes to prosecuting the case, Krasner will have to recuse himself, because he has a conflict of interest as Bazelon's employer. So the D.A.'s office will have to turn the case over to the state Attorney General's office for prosecution.

As is typical for the D.A.'s office, both Krasner and Jane Roh, his alleged spokesperson, did not respond to a request for comment on how they're going to handle Bazelon's arrest. But the D.A.'s office did do Bazelon one favor. On the court docket, her name was misspelled as Dana Bazemore, in an obvious but unsuccessful attempt to give one of their own some cover.

If the case is prosecuted, several lawyers agreed, the most that will happen is that Bazelon will wind up in Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or ARD, where she would receive counseling or have to do community service.

Bazelon, who holds a bachelor of arts degree from Amherst, got her law degree from Georgetown University. She's a former law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Michael Baylson, a former Philadelphia public defender and an associate at the law firm of Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg LLP in Philadelphia.

She's got quite a pedigree. Her grandfather was a federal judge on the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington D.C., her father's a lawyer, her mother's a psychiatrist. She has a sister who's a law professor at the University of San Francisco School Of Law, and another sister who's a staff writer for The New York Times magazine.

Like many moms, Bazelon seemed overtaxed of late because of the coronavirus. On April 28th, Bazelon went on twitter to reply to a comment from her sister, the NY Times writer, who was wondering how many kids are asymptomatic spreaders of the virus.

"Please, people, look into this," Dana Bazelon wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "My kids need to go to camp. I cannot do this all summer!" She added an emoji of a chimp covering his eyes.

James Funt, Bazelon's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment. She has a May 22 court date set for a preliminary hearing in Family Court.

A Philadelphia lawyer who knows and works with Bazelon described her as "a very bright, practical, and very committed person" who is "accessible, modest and reasonable."

"It breaks my heart to see this happen to her," the lawyer said. "This is such a travesty, it's just a nightmare for her. Police have an enormous amount of discretion about whether to charge a case such as this, and there was no reason to charge this case."

When he heard about the arrest, the Philadelphia lawyer said he wondered if this was the cops way of delivering "a gigantic fuck-you to Larry Krasner."

A seasoned former prosecutor, however, strongly disagreed with that argument.

"I'm outraged," he said. "The police do not have discretion in a case like that. Absolutely not."

If the cops find an abandoned child in a locked car, "They've got to break that window and save that child and that woman's got to be taken in," the seasoned former prosecutor said about Bazelon. "If the police didn't save that child, the police department would have been sued to infinity. And Larry Krasner would have been the first in line to sue."

"It's an outrage that this lawyer thinks it's a travesty that this happened to this mother," the seasoned former prosecutor said. "This didn't happen to the mother, this happened to a four-year-old child who can't even call the police. We treat dogs better than that."

"I guess he thinks the rules just don't apply to somebody hired by Larry Krasner," the seasoned former prosecutor said to rebut the lawyer who knows and admires Bazelon.

"I guess he thinks the rules just shouldn't apply to rich white people."


  1. Poor excuses.
    I don’t care who you are or, who you think you are YOU DON’T LEAVE YOUR KIDS IN ANY CAR UNATTENDED.
    Suck it up buttercup and, deal with your penalties you deserve it.
    Some one should lock your ass in a car with the windows up and, get a dose of your own medicine.
    I don’t care who you work for or who your family is.

  2. She endangered her child by leaving her unattended in a locked car, for at least 34 minutes - that is a CRIME ! She should have been arrested and charged with child endangerment. Deal with it !

  3. Philly SWAT would put three holes in her head with no brains seen spilling out. Fire her and disbar her from the practice of law!

  4. Ms. Bazelon's "pedigree" notwithstanding, the woman clearly exercised attrociously poor judgment and is utterly lacking any common sense. She apparently can't wait to pack her children off to summer camp as well. Her priorities are suspect and the children will suffer for it.

  5. In a case of this relevant significance, how was the Arrested District Attorney able to prove there was not prior abd ongoing child abuse???

    The great sleuth that you are, could you determine if Ms. Bazelon shares her questionable parenting with another of like minded temperament and skills??

  6. This is probably not be the first time. Her post should be used at trial. Imagine if the poor kid woke up!! She would be petrified. A 4 yr old can open a door. This is clear neglect. How many people have been charged going into a casino gambling leaving their kids in a car. She was not back in over 30 min upon Police arrival. Who knows how long she left her before then. Larry would charge a cop in a heartbeat if they did the same thing. Pick a better side piece Larry.

  7. Its well known in the office that she is Little Larry's side chick. She seems to gravitate to men with little ones. Lol. Uncle Larry's last so called adviser left in the middle of the night over a racist Fried Chicken comment...another ADA took a crap on a neighbor's stoop while wasted! What's next??? Jane Roh where are u????? Clown!!!

  8. Miracles never cease - the city's sad excuse for a paper actually recognized that this site first reported the story.

  9. It pretty much is a miracle. I emailed the author of the Inky story and told him it was a very classy thing to do.

    When the Inky follows Big Trial, the tail is wagging the dog. Larry can stiff my blog but he can't stiff them.

  10. Thanks to the Police dept for coming to the rescue of this child. The mother used bad judgement by leaving her in the car all alone. She needs to be prosecuted. What would have happened if this baby was abducted? Dope!

  11. I bet she wouldn't leave her dog in the car. Maybe she should lose custody of her kids over this...then at least she wouldn't have to worry about shoving them off to camp for the summer.

  12. And the Philadelphia Inquirer staff and management are wondering why this life-long subscriber to this printed media source finally cancelled his service? I delivered serious ethics, integrity and financial issues in writing to personnel throughout the Inky as well as the senior management and Board at the Lenfest Institute of Journalism that manages the Inquirer and not a single reply, investigation and/or article.

    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Captain (Retired)

  13. Okay, it's trivia time and the topic is "Philadelphia and Balanced News Coverage"....

    Which of the four local TV news programs, if any, covered the arrest of the ADA in this story of child endangerment?

    (1) ActionNews, (2) CBS/Philly, (3) NBC10, (4) FOX 29


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