District Attorney's Biography
Robert Johnson has been the District Attorney of Bronx County since January 1, 1989. He is the first African-American District Attorney in the history of New York State. And, in 2005, he became the longest-serving District Attorney in Bronx history.
Mr. Johnson, a native New Yorker, was born in the Bronx. He graduated from James Monroe High School, the City College of New York, and New York University School of Law. From 1975 to 1978, he was a criminal defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society. This was followed by eight years as a Bronx Assistant District Attorney. In August of 1986, he was appointed a Judge of the New York City Criminal Court, and then promoted to Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, where he served until 1988.
As District Attorney, Mr. Johnson has emphasized the prosecution of serious crimes. At the same time, he has employed a multi-faceted approach to prosecution that also stresses drug rehabilitation, community outreach, and crime prevention strategies.
In the area of community affairs, Mr. Johnson and his staff actively participate in a wide variety of programs and community activities aimed at preventing crime and improving the quality of life. Two examples of these programs are the Youth Trial Advocacy Program (Y-TAP) and the C.O.N.C.E.P.T. (Creating Opportunities Necessary to Create Empowered Positive Teens) Program. Y-TAP provides high school students the opportunity to develop advocacy skills and debating techniques by participating in a moot court competition under the guidance of Assistant District Attorneys who serve as coaches/mentors. As part of C.O.N.C.E.P.T., trained Office staff provide 6th and 7th graders, their parents, and school staff with information on the negative effects of gangs, gun violence, and drugs.
Mr. Johnson, a United States Navy Veteran, is past President of the New York State District Attorneys Association and a present member of the Board of Directors of that Organization. He is also a member of the New York Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Board. In 1997, the Criminal Justice section of the New York State Bar Association awarded him the David S. Michaels Memorial Award for Courageous Efforts in Promoting Integrity in the Criminal Justice System. Currently, Mr. Johnson is a member of the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, a commission appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo under the Moreland Act.
Mr. Johnson, the father of four sons, is married to Appellate Division, First Department Justice Dianne Renwick, and resides in the Bronx with his family.