Monday, February 26, 2007


Cuomo's Deputy for Member Items .....(Azi Paybarah--The Politicker)

Andrew Cuomo just hired Ellen Nachtigall Biben as his new Special Deputy Attorney General for Public Integrity.
Get used to hearing the name: she's the one who's going to be in charge of reviewing some 6,000 legislative member items, and who will be responsible for determining the legality of proposed items in the future.

Career prosecutor from New York County District Attorney's office tooversee government corruption investigations
NEW YORK, NY (February 26, 2007) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomotoday announced the appointment of Ellen Nachtigall Biben as SpecialDeputy Attorney General for Public Integrity, where she will overseelandmark initiatives to fight government corruption.
The Public Integrity Bureau will handle civil and criminal cases,pursuing perpetrators of fraud and bad conduct statewide and seeking torecover misspent taxpayer funds.
Ms. Biben's distinguished 11-year career as a prosecutor for the NewYork County District Attorney's office has produced several long-term,comprehensive investigations into organized crime, money laundering,public corruption, tax evasion, and other forms of racketeering. Since2001, she has specialized in such prosecutions, serving as Deputy BureauChief of the Rackets Bureau.
"Ellen Biben's proven experience finding and eliminating corruptionin its various forms puts her at a great advantage to help restoreintegrity and trust in the state Capitol and beyond," said AttorneyGeneral Cuomo. "Her tireless work as a prosecutor has served thepeople of New York County well for over a decade. I am proud to welcomeher to our team, where she will lead this extraordinarily importanteffort. She will be an asset not only to the Department of Law, but tothe entire state."
For the Department of Law, Ms. Biben will manage Attorney GeneralCuomo's milestone public integrity initiatives, which include athorough review of approximately 6,000 legislative budget member items,a multi-layered legality review of any further proposed items, and"Project Sunlight," a statewide Internet database where NewYorkers can examine links between elected officials, campaign donations,lobbyists, special interests, and/or state contracts.
"Ellen Biben served the Manhattan District Attorney's office withdistinction for more than ten years," said New York County DistrictAttorney Robert M. Morgenthau. "Her excellent work on a wide range ofwhite-collar, corruption, and organized crime cases, and her experienceas a supervisor in the Rackets Bureau make her an outstanding choice tohead the Attorney General's Public Integrity Unit."
Prior to her tenure at the New York County District Attorney'soffice, Ms. Biben was a litigation associate with Sullivan & Cromwelland a law clerk to the Hon. Alan H. Nevas of the United States DistrictCourt for Connecticut. Ms. Biben received a B.A. from WesleyanUniversity, where she was captain of the varsity swim team and a J.D.from the University of Southern California Law Center, where she wasexecutive editor of the Law Review.


Mark Peters Returns

Eliot Spitzer's administration is bringing aboard Mark Peters, one of the unsuccessful Brooklyn District Attorney candidates who challenged incumbent Charles Hynes in a primary two years ago.
Peters will be the Special Deputy Superintendent in charge of the New York Liquidation Bureau. Previously, Peters worked in Spitzer's AG office as chief of the Public Integrity Unit.
The official statement on Mark Peters is here. ........

NEW YORK -- (02/26/2007; 1055)(EIS) -- Acting New York State Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo announced the appointment of Mark Peters as Special Deputy Superintendent in charge of the New York Liquidation Bureau (NYLB). Mr. Peters, the former Chief of the Public Integrity Unit in Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office, is now a partner at Scarola Ellis and has served as lead counsel on complex bankruptcy and insurance matters as well as one of the largest predatory lending cases presently in the federal court system.
The NYLB acts for the Superintendent of Insurance as the court-appointed fiduciary and Receiver of impaired or insolvent insurance companies. Its mission is to maximize assets and resolve liabilities, return rehabilitated companies to the marketplace or distribute the proceeds of the company in a timely manner to creditors.
"Mark Peters is an excellent choice to head the Liquidation Bureau," said Governor Spitzer. "He has the experience and background necessary to uphold the bureau's integrity and ensure its success."
"We're thrilled to have Mark Peters, who is an outstanding attorney with a long record of standing for public integrity and has the perfect skills set to lead the Liquidation Bureau," Acting Superintendent Dinallo said. "Under his leadership, the Liquidation Bureau will be perfectly positioned to meet the challenges ahead."
Acting Superintendent Dinallo also recently announced that the Liquidation Bureau successfully rehabilitated a Long Island insurance company, Interboro Mutual Indemnity Insurance Company, the oldest insurance company on and serving Long Island. This was the first successful insurance company rehabilitation in six years and the first time the Bureau was able to successfully demutualize an insurance company in rehabilitation.
As Special Deputy Superintendent, Mr. Peters will head the Bureau, reporting to the Superintendent. The Bureau, which receives no taxpayer funding, by law carries out the responsibilities of the Superintendent of Insurance as Receiver during rehabilitation. The NYLB acts on his behalf in the discharging of his statutorily defined duties to protect the interests of the policyholders and creditors of insurance companies that have been declared impaired or insolvent.
Johanna Hall, the former head of the Bureau, was indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in December 2006 and charged with Grand Larceny, Defrauding the Government, Official Misconduct and other charges.
Mr. Peters brings to the office extensive experience as a prosecutor and public official. He joins the bureau from the law firm of Scarola Ellis, where he has been a partner since 2006. In 2005, he ran for Brooklyn District Attorney. Prior to joining Scarola Ellis, he was in charge, statewide, of all government corruption prosecutions for the Attorney General's office as Chief of the Public Integrity Unit in Attorney General Spitzer's office. From 1999 until 2001, Special Deputy Superintendent Peters served as Deputy Chief of Eliot Spitzer's Civil Rights Bureau.
At the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Peters handled some of New York State's most important and complex cases, covering issues ranging from the misuse of government funds by public officials to police misconduct to predatory lending. For example, in People v. Crowley Foods, he investigated fraud in school lunch programs statewide and obtained a settlement from a dairy wholesaler who had systematically overcharged school districts. In People v. Love, he exposed the systematic stealing of AIDS and WIC funds by members of a political organization that resulted in guilty pleas from all the defendants. Barron's described him as a "tough competitor" for his work with the Attorney General.
Earlier in his career, he served as Senior Staff Attorney at Children's Rights, Inc., a national watchdog organization advocating on behalf of abused and neglected children in the U.S. At Children's Rights, Mr. Peters helped reform various foster care systems across the country.
He received his JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 1990 and his BA from Brown University in 1987.
Rehabilitation involves the Superintendent taking possession of the property of an insurer, conducting its business, and taking steps toward the removal of the causes and conditions that have made the rehabilitation proceeding necessary. This usually occurs after a company is declared insolvent.
An insurance company is declared to be insolvent when it no longer meets the statutory definition of solvency. Even though the company may still have assets, the company is deemed to be "Unable to pay its outstanding lawful obligations as they mature in the regular course of business ..." and the existing assets of the company are then preserved to allow for the settlement of outstanding claims and debts to creditors.

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