Mayor-elect Adams Names Top Federal Prosecutors to Head DOI and serve as Chief Legal Advisor

Mayor-elect Adams Names Top Federal Prosecutors to Head DOI and serve as Chief Legal Advisor

By Yehudit Garmaise

Mayor-elect Eric Adams has named Jocelyn Strauber and Brendan McGuire to serve as the commissioner of the city's Department of Investigation (DOI) and as the mayor's chief legal adviser, respectively, Adams’ transition team announced. 

Both top lawyers are veterans of the Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office who had entered private practice at law firms in the city.

Adam’s appointment of Strauber to head the city’s DOI awaits the approval of City Council.

One recently released DOI investigation was the early October 49-page report that revealed that Mayor Bill de Blasio owes the city at least $320,000 after inappropriately using his NYPD security detail to drive him around outside New York City during his 2019 short-lived presidential run.

Mayor de Blasio, who has claimed that the NYPD advised him to use the security detail in all reported cases, also used the NYPD to transport the mayor’s guests and staff members when he was not in the car, to ferry his son to and from college, and to help his daughter move out of her apartment.

Strauber has supervised investigations and prosecutions of terrorists and cases that involve national security, arms trafficking, money laundering, violations of export controls and economic sanctions, and global narcotics trafficking.

She supervised the successful prosecutions of several high-profile national security cases, such as Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad, who attempted to bomb Times Square in 2010, which was a case on which McGuire also worked. 

“I appreciate that the city’s lawyers must play an essential role in improving the government’s performance in every area, with a critical focus on accountability and transparency,” said Adams in a statement released Friday. “If harnessed and coordinated properly, the legal function of the city can facilitate meaningful changes and have an enormous impact on the city’s renewal.”

Struber also prosecuted Mansour Arbabsiar, who took part in a conspiracy to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, and she worked on the legal team that secured the guilty plea of Jamaican drug lord Christopher Coke.

McGuire, who is also a top corruption lawyer with many successes, worked on the legal teams that prosecuted two disgraced Democratic ex-lawmakers: Councilman Larry Seabrook and state Sen. Carl Kruger.

In addition, Adams’ new chief legal advisor led the investigation into one of the biggest scandals of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s time in office, in which contractors who were hired to modernize City Hall’s payroll system were convicted of stealing $700 million from taxpayers.

McGuire was also involved in the successful prosecution of arms dealer Victor Bout, a Russian businessman, who was called “The merchant of death” because he ran an international arms-trafficking network.

“It is a privilege to return to public service to work on behalf of its residents,” said McGuire in a statement. “The mayor-elect is uniquely positioned to bring us together and bring us back to where we belong.”

Photo by Flickr

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