A lovesick Brooklyn prosecutor whose obsessive wiretap campaign against her cop ex-boyfriend landed her in jail also ensnared hundreds of innocent victims in her vindictive scheme, according to a new lawsuit.
Former Assistant Brooklyn DA Tara Lenich is already serving a year in jail for abusing her authority by ordering wiretaps and search warrants on an old boyfriend.
But as many as 700 people were caught up in the invasion-of-privacy scheme by talking and texting on phones they didn’t realize were illegally tapped.
“Whenever a telephone line is tapped, the privacy of the persons at both ends of the line is invaded, and all conversations between them upon any subject … although proper, confidential and privileged, may be overheard,” plaintiffs said in a class action lawsuit against Lenich and the Brooklyn DA’s office.
“Moreover, the tapping of one man’s telephone line involves the tapping of the telephone of every other person whom he may call, or who may call him.”
That number approaches close to 700 people over the course of the 18 months that that Lenich was forging court orders that let her monitor calls and texts of her former lover, a married NYPD detective, and his new paramour.
A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Jim Glasser, said Lenich carried out the scheme in plain view of other supervisors who neglected to keep records of all wiretaps. “No one is above the law, including our prosecutors who we entrust with awesome power and authority,” he said.
The subjects of the wiretaps, .Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Rosenfeld and Det. Jarret Lemieux, have already filed federal lawsuits.
“These individuals were never provided with notice by the District Attorney’s Office that their private conversations were illegally tapped,” Glasser said. He said the men are entitled to compensation.
Lenich, 43, a former supervisor in the Brooklyn DA’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, was fired when her scheme came to light. She pleaded guilty in April 2017 to two counts of illegally intercepting oral and electronic communications.
A law enforcement source denied her scheme exposed any systemic problem with the Brooklyn DA’s procedures for obtaining wiretaps.