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Queens DA’s chief spokesman Kevin Ryan retires

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The communications director of the Queens District Attorney’s Office retired after 42 years of handling public information for city and state agencies. Kevin Ryan, 64, worked his last day Wednesday as District Attorney Richard Brown’s chief spokesman at the Kew Gardens headquarters.

“It has been a fun run with lots of good memories, but it is time to put the cap on the pen and log off the computer,” Ryan wrote in a farewell note to reporters he had worked with over the years.

Ryan began working in the business right after graduating from the School of Visual Arts in 1976.

“A friend of mine said he could get me a job with Joe Heinz, who was the state prosecutor for nursing homes,” Ryan said. “I started in the mailroom and worked my way up.”

He went to work at the city’s Department of Investigation before Brown hired him in 2005.

“I think he’s one of the best bosses I’ve ever had,” Ryan said. “It tells you a lot that I’m leaving and the DA’s staying on at 85. It says a lot about him. His mind is razor sharp and he’s made some very insightful changes on press releases.”

There were many notorious cases over the years, and Ryan is proud of the work he did with the media in getting the stories right.

“I was able to expand the news coverage of the office with the dailies but mostly with the weekly newspapers,” he said. “Like Tip O’Neill always used to say, ‘All politics is local’ — well to me, I think all news is local too.”

Ryan said he won’t miss the late-night phone calls from reporters seeking information. That will now be handled by Ikimulisa Livingston, his longtime deputy, who will assume the role of acting director of Communications.

“I’m just going to take it easy and do some traveling,” said Ryan, a married father of three.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by email at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, February 2, 2018
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