Attorney General Cuomo Continues Statewide Community Partnership Initiative In Albany

ALBANY, NY (July 22, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo continued his Community Partnership Initiative in Albany today, as over twenty key members of his leadership team met with local officials and groups.  The day concluded with a community-wide forum for the Capital Region hosted by the Attorney General.  This initiative is designed to make the Office more responsive to the needs of New Yorkers. 

“Tonight’s event is a perfect example of how government can work to help people directly,” said Attorney General Cuomo.  “By meeting with citizens throughout the state my office is able to get a full understanding of the issues that we all face, in the Capital Region and beyond.  Working together with residents, community groups, and business owners, we can collectively better the lives of all New Yorkers.”

Cuomo and his staff conducted meetings with key leaders from the environment, civil rights, business, education, and law enforcement communities.  In the evening, the public was invited to a forum at Albany High School hosted by the Attorney General.  At the forum, the Attorney General and his staff met with local residents and held a series of breakout sessions on issues such as student loans, health care, consumer protection, civil rights, Internet safety, and the environment.

The leadership team of the Attorney General’s office held a variety of meetings throughout the day, such as:

  • Regional Law Enforcement Meeting:  Attorney General Cuomo, Chief of Staff Steven Cohen, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Robin Baker, Special Deputy Attorney General for Guns and Gangs Carl Boykin, and Chief Investigator Joseph D’Amico held meetings with local and state law enforcement. 
  • Internet Safety Presentation: Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Lee Llambelis, Assistant Attorney General Karen Geduldig from the Internet bureau and Senior Investigator Casey Quinlan discussed Internet safety with the Lansingburgh Boys and Girls Club in Troy.
  • Student Loan Awareness: Assistant Attorney General Carolyn Fast and Policy Advisor John Maggiore discussed student loans with college-bound students at the Schenectady County Jewish Community Center
  • Civil Rights Meetings: Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice James Rogers, Counsel Spencer Freedman, Deputy Bureau Chief Alfonso David of the Civil Rights Bureau and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Lee Llambelis held meetings with local civil rights groups.
  • State Counsel Outreach: Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood and Executive Deputy Attorney General for State Counsel Judge Leslie Leach held meetings with representatives from state agencies.
  • Legislative Staff Briefing: Health Care Bureau Chief Tim Clune, Principal Consumer Frauds Attorney Robert Vawter and Legislative Policy Advisor James Malatras briefed legislative staff on health care and consumer fraud issues.

In addition to Attorney General Cuomo, members of his staff taking part in the day’s events included:

  • Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood
  • Chief of Staff Steven Cohen
  • Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Robin Baker
  • Executive Deputy Attorney General for State Counsel Judge Leslie Leach
  • Counsel to the Attorney General Hank Greenberg
  • Special Deputy Attorney General for Guns and Gangs Carl Boykin
  • Special Deputy Attorney General for Environmental Protection Katherine Kennedy
  • Special Deputy Attorney General for Medicaid Fraud Heidi Wendel
  • Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice James Rogers
  • Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Michael Berlin
  • Acting Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Risa Sugarman
  • Chief Investigator Joseph A. D’Amico
  • Senior Investigator Casey Quinlan
  • Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Lee Llambelis
  • Health Care Bureau Chief Timothy Clune
  • Deputy Bureau Chief for Civil Rights Alfonso David
  • Civil Rights Bureau Counsel Spencer Freedman
  • Policy Advisor John Maggiore
  • Legislative Policy Advisor James Malatras
  • Assistant Attorney General of the Internet Bureau Karen Geduldig
  • Assistant Attorney General of the Consumer Frauds Bureau Carolyn FastPrincipal Consumer Frauds Attorney Robert Vawte

Attorney General Cuomo said, “I take very seriously our efforts to partner with communities across New York State.  To this end, there is nothing more effective than face-to-face meetings and immersing one’s self in the local community.  I also take seriously the role of the Attorney General’s office as the ‘People’s Lawyer,’ and I believe we can best serve the public by making ourselves available to hear their complaints and represent their concerns.”

Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings said, “Attorney General Cuomo has spent the past year and a half taking on some of the largest problems affecting our state, from student loans and healthcare to environmental protection and restoring public trust in government. But what truly shows his dedication to public service is this event, which gives Albany residents a chance share the problems they face every day and learn how the Attorney General’s office can help them.  I am extremely grateful to the Attorney General and his staff for coming to Albany and putting on this fantastic event.”

Schenectady Mayor Brian Stratton said, “The best way to get results for our region and our state is having local and state officials work together in a partnership to make our community safer, stronger, and more prosperous.  That is why this event is so important.  The dedication of Attorney General Cuomo and his staff to public service is evident through events like this, and I am proud to be his partner in these ongoing efforts.”

Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian said, “The Attorney General’s Community Partnership Initiative is a fantastic opportunity for residents to present their concerns and have the Attorney General and his staff directly address them. I would like to thank the Attorney General for coming to the Capital Region and inviting me to take part in the day’s events.  His support and concern are greatly appreciated by the entire region and state.”

Albany County Executive Michael Breslin said, “I am delighted to welcome Attorney General Cuomo and his staff to Albany County.  This forum is a terrific opportunity for our residents to interact directly with Attorney General Cuomo and his executive staff and learn how the Attorney General's office can assist them.  I thank Attorney General Cuomo for coming to Albany County to talk about the important issues facing our community and to hear from our residents.”

Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino said, “Attorney General Cuomo has been personally traveling across the state with his senior staff and educating citizens of the services offered through his office in protecting the public on a variety of topics.  I commend and thank the Attorney General for bringing his outreach and information sessions to the Capital Region.”

Schenectady County Legislative Chair Susan Savage said, “Today’s events show that Attorney General Cuomo is committed to the people of this state. His office understands the challenges we face in the Capital Region, and I believe we have made great progress in addressing these issues.”

New York State Senator Neil Breslin said, “I’m delighted to welcome Attorney General Cuomo and his staff to the Capital region. Attorney General Cuomo understands the issues facing our region and, with his staff, is able to hear firsthand about the issues our residents face everyday.  By working together through initiatives like this, there is much we can accomplish for the entire State of New York.”

New York State Senator Hugh Farley said, “Our government belongs to the people, and Attorney General Cuomo’s initiative to bring his Office directly to the people of the Capital Region was the second time in two weeks that I’ve had the privilege of introducing a statewide leader in our community.  Just as Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has been touring the State in recent weeks, the Attorney General is holding events in all regions.  This week’s events featured a number of experts on a variety of topics, and I'm particularly pleased that, as the State’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Cuomo personally met with regional law enforcement officials at the Zone Five Training Academy in Schenectady.”

Assembly Majority Leader, Ron Canestrari, said, “I applaud Attorney General Cuomo for organizing this forum and helping residents know and understand all the resources and safeguards available to them.  I look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General and his staff on the critical issues facing Albany and the State of New York.

New York State Assemblyman Tim Gordon said, “Attorney General Cuomo has already established himself as a strong guardian of the public interest. The citizens of the Capital Region and their elected leaders need to know the full extent to which the Attorney General’s office can assist them, and today’s forum is an ideal way to provide that information.  It allows us to share our thoughts with the Attorney General on many important issues facing this community, including crime, health care, and consumer protection.”

New York State Assemblyman Jack McEneny said, “Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been on the cutting edge of so many critical issues effecting working men and women, businesses and families across the state. It is a pleasure to join with him and his staff in this grass roots forum for the Capitol Region.”

New York State Assemblyman Robert Reilly said, “Attorney General Cuomo has proven himself to be a relentless leader and prosecutor on behalf of New York State.  This community forum is an excellent opportunity for Capital Region residents to meet with him and key members of his staff to learn about his office.  I thank Attorney General Cuomo for making himself available to our local residents and look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.”

New York State Assemblyman James Tedisco said, “In his first year-and-a-half as Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo has uncovered abuses and improprieties in multiple arenas. His ongoing effort to protect New Yorkers is commendable and shows real leadership. This forum provides the perfect opportunity for any Capital Region resident that has questions or concerns regarding a variety of issues that affect all of us.”

To ensure all New Yorkers have access to the resources of the Attorney General’s office, Attorney General Cuomo is holding similar events in other regions across New York State.


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