Staff Changes Announced In Attorney General's Office

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a series of senior staff changes, including the appointment of a new Solicitor General.

"I take great pride in the fact that my office has been able to attract outstanding legal talent," Spitzer said. "These appointments continue and enhance our progress in establishing one of the nation's finest public interest law organizations."

Spitzer named Caitlin Halligan to the post of Solicitor General. Halligan is charged with helping oversee the work of more than 600 attorneys in the Attorney General's Office and of personally directing 45 attorneys in the Solicitor General's Office, which handles appeals for New York in state and federal courts. Prior to moving to the Solicitor General's post, Halligan headed the Attorney General's Internet Bureau. She replaces Preeta Bansal who left the Attorney General's Office to pursue other opportunities in the Midwest.

Halligan graduated from Princeton University and received her law degree from Georgetown University.

In other announcements, Attorney General Spitzer named new leadership for the Health Care and Claims Bureaus, a new director of the Public Integrity Unit, a new Crime Victims Advocate and announced the merger of the Investor Protection and Securities Bureau with the Real Estate Financing Bureau.

Spitzer named Joseph R. Baker III as Chief of the Health Care Bureau. Baker -- a nationally known health care consumer advocate - was most recently the Executive Vice President of the Medicare Rights Center in Manhattan. Prior to working for the Medicare Rights Center, Baker was Managing Attorney and Associate Director for legal services of Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York. He replaces Pamela Jarvis, who left to join a Washington-based law firm.

Baker graduated from the University of Virginia and University of the Virginia Law School.

Spitzer named Mark Peters as head of the Public Integrity Unit. The unit brings civil and criminal actions to protect the public's interest in the integrity of government and government officials at the state and local levels. The unit handles complex investigations into government corruption, fraud and abuse of authority. Prior to being named head of the Public Integrity Unit, Peters worked in the Attorney General's Civil Rights Bureau. He takes over the Public Integrity Unit from Peter Pope, who earlier this year was named head of the Criminal Division. Before joining the Attorney General's Office, Peters was senior staff attorney at Children's Rights Inc.

Peters graduated from Brown University and the University of Michigan Law School.

Spitzer also named Susan J. Pogoda as chief of the Claims Bureau in the New York City region. The Claims Bureau defends all monetary claims made against the state. Before becoming head of the Claims Bureau, Pogoda was chief of the bureau's Tort Section. Prior to joining the Attorney General's office, Pogoda was an Assistant District Attorney in Queens County. Pogoda replaces Kermitt Brooks, who has been named Special Assistant Attorney General In Charge of Operations.

Pogoda graduated from Brooklyn College and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Spitzer named Mindy Bockstein as Crime Victims Advocate. The Crime Victims Advocate advises the Attorney General on matters of interest and concern to crime victims and their families and develops programs to address those needs. Bockstein will also continue serving as Director of Policy Research in the Legal Policy and Program Development Office in the Attorney General's Office. She replaces the former Crime Victims Advocate, Jeanne Mulgrave, who left the Attorney General's Office to work for the After School Corporation in New York City.

After completing post graduate studies in public and legal policy at City University, Bockstein served as Legislative Director and Chief of Staff to then- Assemblyman Dan Feldman. In that capacity she worked on several key crime victim initiatives involving compensation, stalking, domestic violence and sex offenders, including Megan's Law.