Attorney General Cuomo Continues Statewide Community Partnership Initiative In Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY (June 17, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo continued his Community Partnership Initiative in Jefferson County today, bringing over twenty key members of his leadership team to Watertown to meet with local officials and groups and hold a community-wide forum.  This initiative is designed to make the Office more responsive to the needs of North Country residents. 

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

Cuomo and his staff conducted 20 meetings throughout the day 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 Case Middle 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. 
  • Environmental Justice Meetings: Special Deputy Attorney General for Environmental Protection Katherine Kennedy and Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice James Rogers held meetings with local environmental groups.
  • Civil Rights Meetings: Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Mylan Denerstein held meetings with local civil rights groups.
  • State Counsel Outreach: Executive Deputy Attorney General for State Counsel Judge Leslie Leach held meetings with representatives from state agencies.

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

  • Chief of Staff Steven Cohen
  • Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Robin Baker
  • Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Mylan Denerstein
  • Executive Deputy Attorney General for State Counsel Judge Leslie Leach
  • Special Deputy Attorney General for Guns and Gangs Carl Boykin
  • Special Deputy Attorney General for Environmental Protection Katherine Kennedy
  • Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs / Deputy Counsel Frank Hoare
  • 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
  • Chief Investigator Joseph A. D’Amico
  • Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Lee Llambelis
  • Health Care Bureau Chief Timothy Clune
  • Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Watertown Regional Office John Sullivan
  • Policy Advisor John Maggiore

Attorney General Cuomo said, “I take very seriously our efforts to partner with communities across New York State, and 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.”

Watertown Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham said, “I want to thank Attorney General Cuomo for bringing his office to Watertown to learn about the issues that are important to this region.  Tuesday night’s community-wide forum with Attorney General Cuomo was an excellent opportunity for our residents to meet with the Attorney General’s staff and to learn how the Attorney General can help address the issues that matter to Watertown’s residents, businesses, and community groups.”

New York State Senator Darrel J. Aubertine said, “I commend Attorney General Cuomo for his efforts.  By personally traveling across the state to bring his office to the people, he is making the public aware of all it has to offer.  This forum gives us the opportunity to speak directly to him and his executive staff about the issues facing our region.  I’d like to thank him for taking the initiative to reach out.”

Watertown City School District Superintendent Terry Fralick said, “I am happy to welcome Attorney General Cuomo and his staff to Watertown.  Tuesday night’s forum was a fantastic opportunity for our residents to present their concerns and have the Attorney General and his staff directly address them.  As Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo has cleaned up the college loan industry and sponsored legislation that created a Code of Conduct for student lending.  If any college-bound students or their parents have questions or concerns regarding student loans, this forum was an excellent opportunity to speak with the nation’s foremost expert on the subject.”

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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