Cuomo’s Deputy for Member Items

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.

Full announcement after the jump.

— Azi Paybarah


Career prosecutor from New York County District Attorney’s office to
oversee government corruption investigations

NEW YORK, NY (February 26, 2007) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo
today announced the appointment of Ellen Nachtigall Biben as Special
Deputy Attorney General for Public Integrity, where she will oversee
landmark 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 to
recover misspent taxpayer funds.

Ms. Biben’s distinguished 11-year career as a prosecutor for the New
York 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. Since
2001, she has specialized in such prosecutions, serving as Deputy Bureau
Chief of the Rackets Bureau.

“Ellen Biben’s proven experience finding and eliminating corruption
in its various forms puts her at a great advantage to help restore
integrity and trust in the state Capitol and beyond,” said Attorney
General Cuomo. “Her tireless work as a prosecutor has served the
people of New York County well for over a decade. I am proud to welcome
her to our team, where she will lead this extraordinarily important
effort. She will be an asset not only to the Department of Law, but to
the entire state.”

For the Department of Law, Ms. Biben will manage Attorney General
Cuomo’s milestone public integrity initiatives, which include a
thorough 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 New
Yorkers can examine links between elected officials, campaign donations,
lobbyists, special interests, and/or state contracts.

“Ellen Biben served the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with
distinction for more than ten years,” said New York County District
Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau. “Her excellent work on a wide range of
white-collar, corruption, and organized crime cases, and her experience
as a supervisor in the Rackets Bureau make her an outstanding choice to
head the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit.”

Prior to her tenure at the New York County District Attorney’s
office, Ms. Biben was a litigation associate with Sullivan & Cromwell
and a law clerk to the Hon. Alan H. Nevas of the United States District
Court for Connecticut. Ms. Biben received a B.A. from Wesleyan
University, where she was captain of the varsity swim team and a J.D.
from the University of Southern California Law Center, where she was
executive editor of the Law Review. Cuomo’s Deputy for Member Items