Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Appoints Special Deputy Attorney General For Public Integrity

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.

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