New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has announced the selection of former U.S. attorney, Zachary Carter, as the city’s new corporation counsel and head of its law department.
Underscoring the importance of the city attorney in De Blasio’s administration, he said in a news conference at Manhattan, “There will not be a piece of legislation or executive order or any major action that we take as a city government over the next four years that does not have the approval and support of the city’s top attorney.”
“It’s one of the roles,” said De Blasio, “that touches literally every part of government and therefore the lives of every New Yorker.”
De Blasio indicated that the city will not continue pursuing its appeal of a federal judge’s decision that held stop-and-frisk tactics of NYPD as unconstitutional where biased against minorities, and also ordered placing a federal monitor to oversee the NYPD in this matter.
Zachary Carter is the first African-American U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Addressing the media, Carter said, “Throughout my career I tried to use the law to level the playing field for those seeking access and equal opportunity. We have failed as a society when we don’t meet the needs of the least advantaged among us.”
Carter was the head of Brooklyn’s Eastern District federal prosecutor’s office from 1993 to 1999, and he oversaw many high-profile cases like the Crown Heights civil rights trial, prosecution of mob boss Vincent Gigante and the Abner Louima police torture case. Praising his efforts, De Blasio said, “If anyone has worked to end the tale of two cities, that person is Zach Carter.”
Carter is currently a partner at Dorsey & Whitney, and recently defended state Sen. John Sampson in a $500,000 embezzlement accusation.
Image Credit: Doresey & Whitne