Attorney General-elect Andrew Cuomo Announces

NEW YORK, NY (December 19, 2006)- Attorney General-elect Andrew Cuomo and his Transition Committee today announced senior legal staff appointments to fill four top positions including Executive Deputy Attorneys General for Criminal Justice, Economic Justice, Social Justice and Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights.

The senior appointments were made as a result of a comprehensive and rigorous talent search and screening process carried out by Cuomo's Transition Committee. The Committee, comprised of pre-eminent legal, academic, and professional leaders from New York and across the country, commenced the national search in November and convened many times before making several recommendations.

"I am honored to welcome such extraordinary legal talent with truly exceptional backgrounds and records of accomplishments," said Attorney General-elect Andrew Cuomo. "New Yorkers deserve the highest-caliber legal minds to serve and protect them. My top priority is to ensure that our State's Law Department is a national model of excellence, innovative legal thinking and premier public service. Together we will continue to build the best team to fight to protect all New Yorkers."

"Attorney General-elect Andrew Cuomo's appointments reflect his commitment to recruiting the best and brightest talent who represent the people of the State of New York," said Hon. Robert Abrams, Executive Chair of the Transition Committee and former New York Attorney General. "Andrew has delivered on his promise of entrusting a top-flight Transition Committee to implement a thorough recruitment and screening process which has resulted in appointees of extraordinary ability, experience, diversity and dedication to public service."

"I want to commend Andrew for creating a serious, thorough and inclusive recruitment process that has applied the highest standards of quality," said Mary Jo White, Transition Committee Co-Chair and former United States Attorney, Southern District of New York. "The extraordinary caliber of appointments today is a testament to the integrity of that process. As Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice, Robin L. Baker's record of accomplishments as a veteran criminal prosecutor truly stands out. She will be a terrific addition to this extraordinary team that will uncover wrongdoing and aggressively enforce the law for all New Yorkers."

"I have been proud to serve on Andrew's Transition Committee alongside some of the most talented legal minds tasked with casting the widest net with an emphasis on excellence," said Eric Dinallo, Transition Committee Chair and former Chief of the Investment Protection Bureau in the New York Office of the Attorney General. "As Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice, Eric Corngold brings broad, remarkable prosecutorial accomplishments and leadership skills that will make him an outstanding choice to fight to protect economic justice for all New Yorkers.

"Andrew has been clear from the beginning that quality means candidates must have stellar legal records while reflecting the diversity of the people of New York whom they will represent," David Hernandez, President, Puerto Rican Bar Association. "Today's appointments, including Mylan Denerstein, as Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice brings superior legal and management skills and a proven commitment to public service. A bold pioneer, Ms. Denerstein is the highest ranking African American woman in the New York City Fire Department and affirms Andrew's pledge to ensure the best talent serves all New Yorkers."

"Andrew has put in place a comprehensive and rigorous process that has yielded exceptional senior level appointments that will ensure the best service for New York State," said Transition Committee Co-chair George Bundy Smith. "I am pleased that Andrew has named Professor Jenny Rivera as Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights, a new position that reflects one of Andrew's top priorities. Professor Rivera has built a truly distinguished career advocating for equity and justice for women, people of color and other disadvantaged Americans. Her expertise and passion for civil rights will bring unparalleled service for all New Yorkers."

The following appointments were announced today:

Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice
Robin L. Baker, Deputy Chief of Appeals, United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York. Ms. Baker is a seasoned prosecutor who has served in the Southern District since 1996, prosecuting violent gangs, terrorism, organized crime, narcotics, and other criminal cases. She has helped to achieve landmark convictions, including United States v. Abdelghani Meskini and Mokhtar Haouari and United States v. Ahmed Ressam, which resulted in convictions for Ressam's "Millennium plot" to bomb Los Angeles International Airport. She has also served as Acting Chief of Appeals, and her appellate matters include United States v. Bernard Ebbers, and In re W.R. Huff Asset Management Co., regarding compensation for victims of the Rigases' fraud at Adelphia. In 2005, Ms. Baker received both the United States Attorney General's Award for Exceptional Service, which is the Justice Department's highest honor, and the Stimson Medal for outstanding service from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Ms. Baker has served as an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Law at New York University. After receiving her J.D. at Columbia Law School, where she was a Stone Scholar, Ms. Baker practiced in the Litigation Department at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in New York.

Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice
Eric Corngold, Chief Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York. Since 1990, Mr. Corngold has served in the Eastern District where he is currently the principal Advisor to the United States Attorney on criminal, civil, and administrative matters and supervises 160 attorneys. A veteran prosecutor, Mr. Corngold was the Chief of Business and Securities Fraud Unit from 1999 - 2005, where he supervised the office's white collar crime prosecutions, and the Chief of the General Crimes Unit from 1997 - 1999, where he was responsible for supervising and training all new criminal Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Mr. Corngold is known for his distinguished work as the lead prosecutor on numerous high-profile fraud cases including the accounting fraud indictment of the CEO, General Counsel, CFO and ten other high-level executives at Symbol Technologies, Inc; the bankruptcy fraud trial of the CEO and the President of Braniff International Airlines; bank fraud and bribery trial of the Executive Vice President of Crossland Savings Bank; and insider trading prosecution of the founder and CEO of Benihana's, Inc. Mr. Corngold serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at both Fordham University and St. John's School of Law. After receiving his J.D. at Yale Law School in 1984, Mr. Corngold practiced at Hughes, Hubbard & Reed in New York, clerked for Judge Charles P. Sifton, Eastern District of New York, and practiced at Kramer, Levin, Nessen, Kamin & Frankel in New York.

Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice
Mylan L. Denerstein, Deputy Fire Commissioner, Legal Affairs, New York City Fire Department. Ms. Denerstein is currently the highest ranking African American woman in the New York City Fire Department. Since 2003, Ms. Denerstein has been responsible for managing all litigation for the Department, the largest municipal fire department in the country, and for providing legal advice and counsel to the Fire Commissioner, Executive Staff, and all units of the Department regarding compliance, labor, employment, internal investigations, and disciplinary cases. Ms. Denerstein served in the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District from 1996 - 2003 where she was Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. As Deputy Chief, Ms. Denerstein developed and implemented training programs for Assistant United States Attorneys and assisted the Criminal Division Chief in supervising over 100 Assistant United States Attorneys. As an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Denerstein was responsible for investigating and prosecuting complex securities and insurance fraud, money laundering, organized crime, and terrorism. Ms. Denerstein was a Skadden Fellow at the Children's Defense Fund where she advocated on a range of issues, particularly in the area of education. She was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. Ms. Denerstein received her J.D. at Columbia University School of Law where she was the National Vice Chair of the Black Law Students, a Charles Evans Hughes Fellow, and where she received the Jane Marks Murphy Prize.

Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights
Jenny Rivera, Professor of Law, City University of New York School of Law. A legal expert in civil rights, Professor Rivera serves on the New York City Commission on Human Rights and was an administrative law judge in the New York State Division of Human Rights. Her public interest career includes legal work in women's rights, education, employment discrimination, language rights discrimination, and equity and testing issues. Professor Rivera served as Associate Counsel for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and litigated federal and state class actions at the Legal Aid Society's Homeless Family Rights Project. She also clerked for Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who currently sits on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and served as a Pro Se Law Clerk for the Second Circuit. Professor Rivera has authored dozens of articles on civil and women's rights in such journals as the Columbia Journal of Gender and the Law and the Fordham Urban Law Journal. Professor Rivera has been honored by Hispanic Business as one of the Elite Women of 2005, by El Diario/La Prensa in its recognition of Outstanding Latina Women, and by the New York City Chapter of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women for her service to the Latina community. She has also received numerous awards, including the Puerto Rican Bar Association's Flor De Maga Award in recognition of her work on women's rights. Professor Rivera received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was an Articles Editor for the Annual Survey of American Law and a Root-Tilden Scholar, and her LL.M., from Columbia University School of Law, where she concentrated on Constitutional and Feminist Theory.