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Post date: February 26 1999

Chief Of Reproductive Rights Unit Named

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a series of appointments to important staff positions, including the director of a new reproductive rights unit, a top deputy in the environmental bureau and a chief personnel administrator.

The appointments continue Spitzer's emphasis on selecting individuals with a record of professional achievement and non-partisan public advocacy.

The key appointments include:

  • Director of the Unit for Reproductive Rights: Jennifer K. Brown, a current Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and former fellow in the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project.

"While always respecting freedom of speech, we intend to aggressively use the rule of law to halt violence and intimidation aimed at reproductive health clinics, their staff members and clients," Spitzer said. "Jennifer Brown is a formidable advocate with the experience and energy to make this new unit a shining example to the rest of the nation on restoring order and rational discourse to a contentious societal debate."

Additional appointments in the Civil Rights Bureau include:

  • Civil Rights Deputy Bureau Chief for Legislative Policy and Public Education: Jennifer Jones Austin, Associate General Counsel of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Administration for Children's Services of New York City.
  • Disability Rights Project Coordinator: Ruti K. Bell, current Disability Rights Project Coordinator.

Spitzer announced a new appointment in the Environmental Protection Bureau:

  • Policy Advisor: Judith Enck, Senior Environmental Associate at New York Public Interest Research Group.

"I look forward to working with Judith," said Spitzer. "Her creativity, energy and broad range of contacts across the state will bring a valuable perspective to the office."

Spitzer also announced the following personnel moves:

  • Assistant Attorney General for Recruitment and Coordinator of Legal Hiring: Lila E. Kirton, current Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau.
  • Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Syracuse Regional Office: Winthrop H. Thurlow, current acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Syracuse regional office.

Director of the Unit for Reproductive Rights

Jennifer K. Brown, Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, 1995-present. Responsible for all aspects of affirmative and defensive civil litigation, ranging from civil rights, employment, torts, tax and bankruptcy. Former fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project, 1994-1995. Litigation of cases challenging state restrictions on access to abortion services, and supporting condom availability programs in public schools. Former President of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women, 1985-1987. Graduated from Yale Law School, 1993.

Civil Rights Deputy Bureau Chief for Legislative Policy and Public Education

Jennifer Jones Austin, Associate General Counsel of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Administration for Children's Services of New York City, May 1998 to present. Directed the review of existing and proposed legislation and drafting of and lobbying for legislative and regulatory proposals to allow the agency to serve children in the most effective manner. Graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 1993.

Disability Rights Project Coordinator

Ruti K. Bell, Assistant Attorney General working on disability rights cases for three years. Successfully litigated People vs. Southside Mall, which for the first time required a retail mall to provide equal access to its facilities for disabled people and their service animals. Graduated from Pace University Law School in 1994.

Policy Advisor

Judith Enck, Senior Environmental Associate at New York Public Interest Research Group, 1989-present. Community organizer, drafted environmental legislation, lobbyist before the New York State Legislature on a range of issues including breast cancer prevention, pesticides, solid and hazardous waste and air quality. Graduated from the College of St. Rose, 1981.

Assistant Attorney General for Recruitment and Coordinator of Legal Hiring

Lila E. Kirton, Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau and the consumer frauds bureau, 1990-present. Investigated and prosecuted criminal cases referred to the Attorney General by the Governor, state agencies and the state Inspector General and handled litigation to enforce state laws prohibiting false advertising and deceptive business practices. Graduated from New York Law School, 1985.

Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Syracuse Regional Office

Winthrop Thurlow, current acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Syracuse regional office. Former partner in Martin, Martin & Woodward in Syracuse specializing in civil litigation, insurance defense, commercial and bankruptcy practice, 1991-1998. Graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, 1987.