Sunday, January 10, 2010
Why Is Mayor Bloomberg Hiding His Committee On City Marshals?
Mayor's Committee on City Marshals
About the Committee
The Mayor's Committee on City Marshals is established by State law, Section 1601 of the New York City Civil Court Act. The Committee’s four functions are to (1) establish and publish qualifying criteria for appointment to the office of City marshal, (2) recruit and receive names of candidates for that office, (3) determine which of the qualified candidates are best qualified to serve as City marshals, and (4) recommend to the Mayor up to three qualified persons for appointment to the office of City marshal upon the occurrence of a vacancy. Mayoral Executive Order No. 44, February 13, 1980. By law, the Committee’s proceedings, records, and communications, including all applications submitted to it, are confidential and exempt from public disclosure.
The Committee consists of fifteen members, all appointed by the Mayor. The Mayor appoints six of the members directly, three after selection by Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, three after selection by the Presiding Justice of the Second Judicial Department, and three after selection by the deans of three New York City Law Schools, who each select one member for appointment. The Committee members serve without compensation.
In September 2003, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed fifteen new members to the Mayor’s Committee on City Marshals. Previously, the Committee had last met in November 1995.
For more information on Section 1601 of the New York City Civil Court Act:
Visit New York State Assembly
Visit New York State Senate
NYC Marshal's Handbook of Regulations
New York City Marshal Application
Message from Chair
Mayor Bloomberg has charged our Committee with the responsibility of finding and recommending to him, from a broad array of men and women reflecting the diversity of New York City, the best-qualified candidates to serve the public as City marshals.
The position of City marshal is unique and demanding. City marshals are called upon to enforce the most sensitive court orders, such as evictions, car seizures, and wage garnishments, with careful regard for the safety and rights of all concerned. City marshals work independently and must support themselves and their offices without public salaries or funding. But they are also public servants who must follow detailed laws and rules and cooperate fully with the Commissioner of the Department of Investigation, who oversees them for the Mayor and the State Supreme Court's Appellate Division.
The Committee therefore seeks candidates with proven qualities of honesty, integrity, maturity of judgment, courtesy, and respect for the law and public service. Candidates must also be able to manage an office, operate a business, and meet their financial obligations.
As of September 2006, State law allows retired New York City Police Officers, Correction Officers, Deputy Sheriffs, Fire Marshals, and others to serve as City marshals while receiving their pensions. The Mayor and the City Council supported the new law because it opens up the challenges and opportunities of a City marshal's appointment to a large and diverse pool of mature applicants, experienced in law enforcement and capable of managing difficult and dangerous situations.
The Committee welcomes qualified applicants who have taken the time to familiarize themselves with the responsibilities and challenges of City marshals. We thank Mayor Bloomberg for giving us this opportunity to serve our City.
Peter J. Madonia
Chair, Mayor's Committee on City Marshals
City Marshals Committee Members
Selections of the Mayor
Peter J. Madonia
Barbara T. Barrantes
Barry R. Clarke
Thomas H. Roche
Selections of the Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, 1st Department
Jonathan L. Kimmel
Justice Bentley Kassal
Selections of the Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, 2nd Department
Leardo Luis Lopez
Marisa Megur Seifan
Justice Daniel Joy
Selections of Law School Deans
Columbia: Richard Briffault
Fordham: Edgar De Leon
St. John’s: Jonathan Kingston
Peter J. Madonia is Chair of the Committee. Mr. Madonia is the Chief Operating Officer of the Rockefeller Foundation, established in 1913 by John D. Rockefeller, Sr., to "promote the well-being" of humanity by addressing the root causes of serious problems. Before joining the Rockefeller Foundation in February 2006, Mr. Madonia served as Chief of Staff to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a position he was appointed to after serving as Senior Advisor to the Bloomberg for Mayor campaign. His previous experience in New York City government included serving as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Operations, Deputy Commissioner for Budget and Operations at the Department of Buildings, and First Deputy Commissioner of the Fire Department. Mr. Madonia also owns and for twelve years operated a successful family business. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, where he has taught urban studies as an adjunct professor. He also has a Master in Urban Studies degree from the University of Chicago.
April 16, 2002
PUBLIC LIVES; Away From the Ovens to a Hot Spot at City Hall
By ROBIN FINN, NY TIMES
WHEN he's not doing due diligence as chief executive of an 84-year-old Italian bakery created by his grandfather, he is a cutting-edge Democrat and chief of staff for a four-month-old mayoralty headed by a Republican political neophyte. He doesn't sweat the contrasts.
''I remember somebody telling me once that the best way to live is to figure out what kind of work you'd do for free and then go get paid for it,'' says Peter J. Madonia.
Urban government is his passion. The Madonia Brothers Bakery was the passion of his grandfather, father and older brother, Mario. When Mario died in a car accident in 1988, Mr. Madonia, 10 years into an upwardly mobile career in city government, quit living his dream and took over the family business in the Bronx to prevent it from going out of business. ''It was the right thing to do. I never put a time frame on it, but the general plan was that I had a third career in me somewhere.''
Somewhere is finally here; his third act, like his first, led straight to City Hall.
It is hard to picture Mr. Madonia, a confirmed nonbaker but heir nonetheless to the family bakery, studying recipes for jalapeño bread and wrapped in an apron, when he's sitting on a tapestry chair at City Hall wearing the urbane accouterments appropriate to his role as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's chief of staff: starched white shirt, silk scrollwork tie, buffed shoes. And there's a faint tan, courtesy of a weekend in Florida visiting Mom and Dad; unlike Mr. Bloomberg's, Mr. Madonia's weekends are an open book.
Want to see his résumé? Look quick; it's a paragraph-length understatement. Mr. Madonia, now 48 but an ambitious 25 when he scored his first city job during the Koch administration, likes to ''keep a low profile.'' Friends say he has the soul of a surfer; he admits that beach bum (Negril, Jamaica, is his favorite vacation destination) might be an alternate career choice had City Hall not smitten him first.
''If you're going to be in this business, you have to believe there is such a thing as good government,'' says Mr. Madonia. ''I have my cynical moments, but I'm not what you could call a real cynic.''
Want to see his office? ''I don't have an office.'' That's his cynical way of saying we won't be peeking at his cubicle upstairs in the bullpen, where he runs a $26 million department -- ask him how big a staff he's chief of and ''big'' is the best he comes up with -- at elbow's length from the boss who brought him back to politics after his forced hiatus.
Mr. Madonia was in his 13th year as owner-manager of the bakery when Patricia E. Harris, a Koch-era colleague who is now deputy mayor for administration, suggested he have lunch with Mr. Bloomberg and help the magnate mull a mayoral campaign.
''I probably exhibited so much passion about government that I left him with the impression that of course he should run,'' says Mr. Madonia. Soon he was spending half his week at the bakery, the other half on what he calls ''a low-key policy role'' in the campaign, the first political campaign he'd ever worked on (though he has been a Clinton supporter since Hillary Rodham Clinton turned up at the bakery 10 years ago campaigning for her husband and, despite her anti-cookie-baking manifesto, put on an apron).
When Mr. Bloomberg won and offered him work, Mr. Madonia hesitated just long enough to clear ''a 24/7 job'' with his wife and daughter; then he asked his father, Pete, to come back to the bakery, freeing him to return to City Hall.
HIS initial marching order, besides providing agenda advice (past deputy commissionerships in the Department of Buildings and the Fire Department make him a qualified source), was to set a good example, and precedent, for other city agencies by cutting the budget for the mayor's office by 20 percent. He also culled 25 cars from the mayoral fleet, but not his: he says the subway trip from his home in the northeast Bronx to City Hall is too time-consuming to be cost-effective. He made his cuts within a month. Savings to the city: $7 million.
Always a man with a plan, Mr. Madonia latched onto his life's blueprint without knowing it. He was 16, the city was decomposing its way through a sanitation strike, and there on television was the city sanitation commissioner, irate but authoritative, locked in debate with a union leader. The commissioner had the last word.
''I said, 'Man, I'd love that job,' '' says Mr. Madonia, ''and it wasn't about the garbage.'' It was about the responsibility of making the city run right. ''It got my blood going. From the time I was a kid, my mother would say, 'Go work for the city.' '' She knew her second son preferred the fairy dust of politics to the flour dust of the family business.
Mr. Madonia attended Fordham University, received a master's in urban studies from the University of Chicago, returned to New York and found a pivotal mentor in Dan Wolf, former owner/publisher of The Village Voice. Through him, Mr. Madonia signed on at City Hall as executive assistant to Deputy Mayor Nat Leventhal, learning the business end of politics from Mr. Leventhal and Mr. Koch. At 32, he was appointed first deputy commissioner of the Fire Department, a significant posting for a relative youngster. ''I've got ties that are older than you,'' one borough commander told Mr. Madonia in lieu of a welcome. He laughed it off and got back to work.
From Betsy Combier: Mr. Madonia was also an Alternate City Member at the Office of Collective Bargaining, and is on the Board of Trustees of the "new" Randall's Island, with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (didn't he protest the Mayor's private school initiative on Randall's Island???)
Barbara Barrantes is Executive Director and Bank Compliance Officer at WestLB AG, New York Branch.
Westlb AG New York Branch provides financial products and services in United States. It offers lending, structured finance, capital market and private equity products, asset management, transaction services, and real estate finance. The company is based in New York, New York. Westlb AG New York Branch operates as a subsidiary of WestLB AG.
1211, Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Ms. Barrantes previously served as Special Counsel in the Banking and Finance Department of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. Her other professional experience includes service as Senior Vice President and Chief Regulatory Counsel at IBJ Schroder Bank & Trust Company, Staff Attorney in the New York Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Deputy Superintendent and Counsel in the New York State Banking Department. Ms. Barrantes is a graduate of the New York University School of Law.
In 1997 she was involved with Adelphi University when the Trustees were thrown out:
February 11, 1997
NEW YORK REGENTS OUST 18 TRUSTEES FROM ADELPHI U.
By BRUCE LAMBERT
The New York State Board of Regents removed 18 of Adelphi University's 19 trustees yesterday, saying they had paid the university's president too much, did not keep track of his compensation and failed to review his job performance.
The Regents, who immediately appointed 18 new trustees, said that two of the ousted board members had improperly profited by doing business with the university and that they had failed to disclose details of their dealings.
The action, which is authorized under state education law, has been taken against three other institutions in the last 80 years, but never against a university as big as Adelphi, which has 4,300 students.
The Regents also said that the trustees failed to abide by Adelphi bylaws giving the faculty a say in how the university is governed. ''Indeed,'' they wrote in a 49-page report, ''in our view there has been a complete breakdown of the principles of governance, which the board of trustees seems to countenance.''
For a year and a half, Adelphi's president, Dr. Peter Diamandopoulos, has been attacked by faculty members and others who criticized what they said were his dictatorial management style; his cutbacks in programs; his salary and benefits package, which reached $523,000 in 1994-95, and his close relationship with the trustees, many of whom he had helped select.
He was among the trustees who were removed yesterday, but he remains president and had no comment. Under state law, the Regents can remove trustees who misuse their power but can take no action against administrators.
The one trustee who was not ousted, Donald Kagan, a Yale University professor of history and classics, was appointed late in 1995 and was not deemed to have played a role in the improper actions of the board.
Lawyers for the ousted trustees announced plans to appeal to the courts within 48 hours and seek a stay to restore their clients to office.
The ousted Adelphi board chairwoman, Ernesta G. Procope, denounced the Regents' ruling as ''a direct threat to the continued independence of every private nonprofit college and university in the State of New York.''
Reading a statement issued by the university, she added: ''There were no legal, educational, ethical or any other grounds to warrant the removal of any members of Adelphi's board of trustees. Therefore we deplore this disgraceful, irresponsible and totally unwarranted decision by the New York State Board of Regents.
''We will go to the ends of the earth to rectify this gross injustice,'' she said.
A spokesman for Adelphi, Vincent Passaro, said that Dr. Diamandopoulos did not have a separate comment beyond the statement issued by Mrs. Procope on behalf of all the ousted trustees.
To replace Mrs. Procope, the Regents appointed an interim chairman, Steven L. Isenberg, the former publisher of New York Newsday, who recently completed a teaching appointment in California.
The Regents' vote was 14 in favor of removing the trustees and 1 opposed, Robert Johnson, a former publisher of Newsday. Mr. Johnson voted for the installation of the new trustees.
Mr. Isenberg, the new board's chairman, said he hoped the trustees would meet soon. He declined to comment about Dr. Diamandopoulos's future and said he had not had a chance to speak with the president.
The Regents' presiding officer, Chancellor Carl T. Hayden, said he had asked the State Education Commissioner, Richard P. Mills, to recruit potential new trustees in case the old board was removed. Mr. Hayden said the recruitment and the Regents' deliberations on removing Adelphi's trustees operated simultaneously but independently.
After more than a year of chaos at Adelphi, the prospect of the court appeal casts a note of uncertainty on who is in charge and when the power struggle will be finally adjudicated. Arthur J. Kremer, a lawyer for the trustees, said the appeal would be filed in the state courts in Albany. Prior appeals to block or halt the Regents proceedings all failed.
Officials of the Committee to Save Adelphi, a coalition of Dr. Diamandopoulos's critics led by faculty members and including former trustees, former administrators, alumni, students and parents, were jubilant at the votes, taken at the New York Bar Association in Manhattan.
''You couldn't find anyone happier than we are now,'' said Catherine Cleaver, a co-chairwoman of the committee. Gayle Insler, another leader, expressed hope that the new trustees would quickly remove Dr. Diamandopoulos as president.
The Regents found that two trustees had improperly done business with the university: Mrs. Procope, the board's chairwoman, and George Lois, an advertising executive.
Dr. Diamandopoulos designated E. G. Bowman, a firm owned by Mrs. Procope, as Adelphi's insurance consultant and broker, and most of its policies were issued by Chubb, a company on whose board she served. Mr. Lois's advertising agency, Lois/ U.S.A., created an ad campaign for Adelphi. Neither Mrs. Procope nor Mr. Lois disclosed that their companies were receiving income from their dealings with Adelphi. In fact, the Regents said, the other trustees were told they were working for free.
The Regents were especially harsh on Dr. Diamandopoulos and Mrs. Procope, whose firm received more than $1.2 million in commissions.
Mrs. Procope ''acted in self-interest,'' the Regents said. ''Because of her conflicted roles, we will never know whether or not Adelphi obtained the lowest-cost coverage best suited to its needs, or whether another broker would have been a better choice.''
And the report said of the president: ''Under the circumstances, Diamandopoulos's actions can reasonably be interpreted as intended to curry favor with Procope -- who has played a key role in setting his compensation every year since 1986 -- by guaranteeing the Adelphi account to her company for at least as long as she remained a trustee.''
Adelphi's ousted trustees complained that the Regents' intervention posed a threat to the independence of all colleges and universities and discouraged people from serving as trustees. They also said the entire investigation was part of an effort by the faculty union to gain power.
''For the past year and a half,'' the university said in a statement, ''Adelphi has been subjected to a well-financed 'corporate campaign' by a small group of dissidents, mainly the directorate of the faculty union, who have long been seeking to gain control of campus policy. Through negative publicity, based on lies, distortion and disinformation, they were able to pressure the Board of Regents to hold public hearings, and then to conduct those hearings in an atmosphere utterly indifferent to both due process and basic fairness.''
The broader implications of Adelphi's case may be to underscore the cautions that nonprofit organizations should exercise in the oversight of their boards and executives.
''Individuals serving on any type of nonprofit board can learn several important lessons from this,'' said Judith O'Connor, president of the National Center for Nonprofit Boards. ''Executive compensation is a potentially explosive issue. Conflict-of-interest policies are essential, since even the appearance of impropriety can be extremely damaging. And board members should be informed, engaged and not afraid to ask tough questions.''
Since Dr. Diamandopoulos took office over 12 years ago, supporters have praised him as a visionary who transformed the commuter school's academic standards with a new core curriculum and a small honors college. They said he had reversed Adelphi's troubled finances by expanding its endowment and reserves from $4 million when he took over to nearly $48 million today. His administration also made about $50 million in improvements to the campus.
But his critics said they were moved to act because, in their view, his tenure had been ruinous to Adelphi, where enrollment has dropped about 40 percent since his arrival. Its tuition fees now rank second highest on Long Island, average class size has ballooned, admissions are less selective and Adelphi's rankings in Barron's and other college guides have fallen over the years.
In the decision, based on 27 days of hearings, the Regents said that even as Dr. Diamandopoulos's initial pay of $95,000 and his benefits steadily rose, ''there is no evidence'' that the trustees ''actually evaluated Diamandopoulos's performance against articulated goals or benchmarks.''
Dr. Diamandopoulos's raises and expanded benefits, including use of a $1.3 million apartment in Manhattan, were granted by a small subcommittee of trustees who did not tell the full board the basic details of the compensation, the Regents said.
According to the report, the trustees repeatedly violated both their own bylaws and state statutes in failing to review Dr. Diamandopoulos's performance and to vote on his pay and benefits.
''A prudent board of trustees should have taken a hard look at Diamandopoulos's entire record and carefully measured it against the compensation awarded,'' the Regents said. ''The board of trustees never did so, and the result was a compensation without a rational basis and far in excess of the value of services performed.''
The report singled out the condominium as ''the most egregious example'' of imprudent benefits. The trustees allowed Dr. Diamandopoulos to select, buy, renovate and furnish the condo at Adelphi's expense without inspecting it, having it appraised or studying the possibility of a rental. Then they granted him the right to buy it at any time for $905,000.
''The totality of the record before us today demonstrates that in setting Diamandopoulos's compensation, the trustees failed to exercise the degree of care and skill that ordinarily prudent persons would have exercised,'' the Regents said. ''They must therefore be removed from office.''
The trustees' failures ''amounted to a neglect of the board's fiduciary duty of care,'' the Regents added.
Photo: Opponents of Adelphi's president celebrated the removal of most of the university's trustees yesterday at the New York Bar Association in Manhattan, where the State Board of Regents had voted. The critics included, from left, Devin Thornburg, his wife, Iris Gersten, Gayle Insler and Catherine Cleaver. (Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times); Peter Diamandopoulos. (pg. B6) ''CHRONOLOGY: Shakeup at Adelphi: A Board Falls'' The New York State Board of Regents voted yesterday to remove 18 of the 19 trustees of Adelphi University in Garden City, L.I. JUNE 1985 -- Peter Diamandopoulos, the former president of Sonoma State University in California, is named president of Adelphi University. SEPTEMBER 1995 -- A survey in The Chronicle of Higher Education identifies Dr. Diamandopoulos as the second highest paid university president in the nation, after Boston University's president John R. Silber. His compensation for 1993-94 totals $523,636. OCT. 5, 1995 -- Adelphi's faculty votes 131 to 14 to urge the dismissal of Dr. Diamandopoulos. APRIL 17, 1996 -- In court papers, the State Attorney General's office says Adelphi's trustees may have violated several state laws by financing ''extraordinary personal spending'' by Dr. Diamandopoulos. APRIL 25, 1996 -- Faculty members and alumni petition the state to remove the university's trustees, charging that their ''divisive, destructive and costly actions'' threatened Adelphi's survival. JULY 31, 1996 -- The State Board of Regents opens hearings on Adelphi. As the first witness, Dr. Diamandopoulos says he never asked for a raise, even as the trustees more than tripled his salary. FEB. 10, 1997 -- The Regents vote to oust 18 of Adelphi's 19 trustees. (pg. B6) ''The Changing of the Guard'' The New York State Board of Regents dismissed 18 of Adelphi's 19 trustees, including the college's president, Dr. Peter Diamandopoulos. The only trustee who was not ousted was Donald Kagan, a Yale professor. IN WILLIAM A. ACKERMAN, partner, law firm of Ackerman, Levine & Cullen, Great Neck, L.I. BERNARD F. ASHE, former general counsel, New York State United Teachers BARBARA T. BARRANTES, vice president, IBJ Schroder Bank & Trust JOHN C. BIERWIRTH, former chief executive, Grumman Corporation RICHARD C. CAHN, partner, law firm of Cahn, Wishod & Lamb JILL CONWAY, former president, Smith College. VERA KING FARRIS, president, Richard Stockton College MICHAEL FINNERTY, chief financial officer, The Edison Project STEVEN N. FISCHER, C.P.A., president, Urbach Kahn & Werlin HAROLD S. GELB, chairman, the United Industrial Corporation PAM R. GRELLA, Comptroller, Glen Cove, L.I. STEVEN L. ISENBERG, former publisher, New York Newsday PHILIP H. JORDAN, JR., former president, Kenyon College JOHN D. MACOMBER, principal, JDM Investment Group DR. SHIRLEY M. MALCOM, administrator, American Association for the Advancement of Science S. BRUCE PANTANO, chief executive, Publishers Clearing House PHILIP S. WINTERER, former partner, Debevoise & Plimpton BARRY ZEMAN, president, St. Charles Hospital, Long Island OUT DR. KAREN ELIZABETH BURKE, dermatologist and surgeon JAMES T. BYRNE JR., vice president of Bankers Trust THOMAS J. CALABRESE JR., vice president of human resources, Nynex JOSEPH F. CARLINO, lawyer and former Assembly Speaker DIMITRI CONTOMINAS, chairman and chief executive of Interamerican Life Insurance RAYMOND V. DAMADIAN, one of the inventors of the magnetic resonance imaging ROBERT B. FRIEDMAN, businessman and investor, Long Island PETER J. GOULANDRIS, private investor HILTON KRAMER, publisher, The New Criterion and columnist for The New York Post ABRAHAM KRASNOFF, retired chairman of the Pall Corporation ELIAS J. KULUKUNDIS, president of the Midas Holding Corporation GEORGE LOIS, chairman of the Lois/USA advertising agency ERNESTA G. PROCOPE, chief executive, the E. G. Bowman insurance company LEONARD RIGGIO, president and chief executive of Barnes & Noble Bookstores NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, director of Brookhaven National Laboratory JOHN R. SILBER, president, Boston University ANGELO SILVERI, president and chief executive of the Silverite Construction Company (pg. B6)
Barry R. Clarke is the Special Counsel to the Executive Office of the New York State Office of Court Administration. Prior to joining the New York court system in 1986, he served for eight years as an officer with the Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority. He is an active member of the Flatbush-Tompkins Congregationalist Church. Mr. Clarke earned his JD from New York Law School.
Monte Kurs is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of BTQ Financial which provides financial management and consulting services to not for profit organizations. Mr. Kurs is also an Adjunct Professor of Management at New York University. Previously, Mr. Kurs has served as Chief of Staff to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, President of Alliance Funding, a division of Superior Bank, FSB, and Chief Operating Officer of the ADCO Group, a national real estate development company. From 1978 to 1987 he served in several positions in NYC municipal government, including Deputy Commissioner of the Department of General Services, Counsel to the Deputy Mayor and Deputy Criminal Justice Coordinator. He received his JD from Hofstra University Law School.
Betty Lugo is a partner in the firm of Pacheco & Lugo, the first Hispanic women-owned law firm in New York. From 1984 to 1987 she served as an Assistant District Attorney in Nassau County. She then joined the law firm of Jacobson & Schwartz as a litigation associate. She has been active in politics, and in 1997 she ran as a Republican and Independence Party candidate for the New York City Council. Ms. Lugo is an instructor with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. She earned her JD from Albany Law School of Union University.
Thomas H. Roche is Deputy General Counsel and Senior Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. From 1980 to 1996 he served in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, becoming Senior Litigation Counsel. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Roche served the City of New York for nine years in the Department of Investigation as Assistant Commissioner, General Counsel and Examining Attorney. His other professional experience includes: Deputy General Counsel for the New York City Special Commission of Inquiry into Energy Failures, Research Consultant at the Stanford Research Institute, and Special Assistant District Attorney for Kings County. He served in the United States Army for two years as a Captain and General Staff Officer. Mr. Roche is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Temple University School of Law.
Selections of the Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, 1st Department
Thomas Curran is a partner with the law firm of Ganfer & Shore, LLP. Previously, he served in the New York County District Attorney's Office as Assistant District Attorney in the Major Offense /Career Criminal Program and the Frauds Bureau. Mr. Curran has also served as an instructor in the New York County District Attorney's Trial Advocacy Program, the New York City Police Academy, and the New York State Court Officers Academy. Mr. Curran started his legal career as a litigation associate at Lord Day & Lord, Barret Smith and later practiced law at the firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart. He received his J.D. from Fordham University Law School.
Jonathan L. Kimmel is an attorney who specializes in pension-related matters. Mr. Kimmel previously had a 20-year career as an attorney and executive with the City of New York, retiring in 2004. He represented former Mayor Koch on legislative issues and in intergovernmental relations and later became the Director for legal matters of the Teachers' Retirement System of the City of New York. Mr. Kimmel also serves as a public member of the City's Rent Guidelines Board. Mr. Kimmel received his bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, his master's degree from New York University, and his J.D. from New York Law School. Before attending law school, Mr. Kimmel taught for more than eight years in Intermediate School 78 in Brooklyn.
Justice Bentley Kassal is a retired judge who has served at every level of the New York State Court System, including Civil Court, Supreme Court, the Appellate Division and Court of Appeals. Justice Kassal, who is currently counsel at the law firm of Skadden Arps, also served as a member of the New York State Assembly from 1957 to 1962. He also has served his country with distinction in the United States Army, and he is a retired major in the Air Force Reserves. Justice Kassal received his JD from Harvard Law School, which designated him as a Distinguished Alumnus in February 2002.
Selections of the Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, 2nd Department
Leardo Luis Lopez is an attorney in private practice, practicing in the area of Immigration Law. Between 1993 and 2001, Mr. Lopez worked for Victim Services/Safe Horizon Immigration Law Project, providing immigration legal services to low income clients, concentrating in political asylum representation and legal assistance for victims of domestic violence and abuse. Mr. Lopez has represented clients before the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now called Citizenship and Immigration Services), the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Asylum Office. Mr. Lopez is a 1992 graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and earned his undergraduate degree from CUNY/John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Marisa Megur Seifan is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. She previously was an Associate at Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, where she practiced in the areas of white collar criminal defense, securities litigation, and complex commercial litigation. Marisa served as her law firm's pro bono liaison to The Legal Aid Society and received the Society's 2005 and 2006 Pro Bono Awards for outstanding service. Marisa also serves as a board member of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families. Marisa received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2001, where she was a member of the law review. She received her B.A. from Duke University.
Justice Daniel Joy retired from the bench in 2000 after serving 42 years in government. He spent 25 years specializing in housing matters, administering and enforcing housing laws of both the State and City of New York, and he served as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Rent and Housing Maintenance. In 1983 he was elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York and two years later he was elected to the Supreme Court of the State of New York where he handled both civil and criminal matters. In 1993, he was appointed to the Appellate Division Second Department and that same year Governor Pataki appointed him to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Justice Joy received his LLB from Brooklyn Law School.
Selections of Law School Deans
Columbia: Richard Briffault is the Vice Dean & Joseph Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School. Before joining the faculty at Columbia in 1983, he was an Associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and then Assistant Counsel to the Governor of the State of New York. He served as a Member of Mayor Koch’s Early Childhood Education Commission, counsel on Governor Cuomo’s Advisory Commission on Liability Insurance, and as a consultant to the New York City Charter Revision Commission. He also served as the Executive Director on the Special Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He earned his JD from Harvard University.
Fordham: Edgar De Leon is a partner in the firm of De Leon & Martin, PLLC [NY-NJ]. The firm specializes in criminal defense, matrimonial/family law, and real estate transactions and serves as Impartial Hearing Officers for the New York State Department of Education. Mr. De Leon is a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law and Hunter College. He retired from New York City Police Department with the rank Detective-Sergeant. Mr. De Leon has served on the advisory boards of the Advanced Systems Technology Co. in Lawton, Oklahoma and Instructional Systems Inc. in Hackensack, New Jersey. He also served on the Board of Directors of Loisaida, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation in New York City. Mr. De Leon is the current President-Elect of the Puerto Rican Bar Association. He is a recipient of the Network for Woman’s Services Commitment to Justice Award (2000) and the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Latino Honor Society Award (2001).
St. John’s: Jonathan Kingston is an attorney in private practice, providing pro bono counseling for consumer-fraud victims and specializing in civil litigation, particularly commercial collections. Before practicing law, Mr. Kingston was a spokesman for NY State Assemblyman Douglas Prescott in Queens. He later served as a Student Legal Specialist at the New York City Corporation Counsel’s Queens Tort Division. Mr. Kingston has defended general and product liability lawsuits for AIG as both staff counsel (Jacobowitz, Garfinkel & Lesman) and outside counsel (Cooper, Kardaras & Sharf, LLP). Mr. Kingston is a 1997 graduate of St. John's University School of Law, which he attended on full university scholarship. Mr. Kingston is a New York State-licensed Emergency Medical Technician and currently serves as Corporation Counsel to Oceanside Rescue Company #1 and South Communities EMS and is a member and benefactor of Middle Village Volunteer Ambulance Corps.