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Post date: February 4 1999

Leading Environmental Advocate To Head AG Unit

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the selection of Peter H. Lehner, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, as head of his Environmental Protection Bureau.

"Peter brings new credibility and commitment to the Department of Law," Spitzer said. "He will work with companies who make a good faith effort to remediate environmental problems and he will be tenacious in pursuing those who flout the laws."

Leading figures in the environmental community praised the Lehner appointment:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., of the Riverkeeper environmental group in White Plains, said: "Peter is among the most respected environmental litigators in America. His appointment signals a sea change at the Attorney General's office. This is clearly a commitment on the part of Spitzer to restore the Attorney General's office to the leadership position it once held in environmental advocacy."

Lehner will head a bureau with 32 lawyers, seven scientists and various technical and support staffers. In addition, Spitzer has made a commitment to restore environmental investigator positions eliminated by the previous administration.

Spitzer also announced a series of additional appointments:

Bureau Chief for Investor Protection and Securities:
Eric R. DiNallo, principal securities fraud prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Bureau Chief for Legislative Affairs:
Kathy A. Bennett, staff attorney at the New York Prosecutors Training Institute developing instruction programs for district attorneys in DNA evidence admissibility and violence/sex crimes prosecutions.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Public Advocacy:
Terryl L. Brown, current acting Assistant Attorney General for Public Advocacy, former deputy bureau chief for civil rights.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Public Advocacy:
Natalie M. Gomez-Velez, staff attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

Spitzer also announced the following appointments to regional offices:

Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Suffolk County Office:
Denis J. McElligott, in private law practice specializing in negligence litigation.

Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Utica Office:
Joel L. Marmalstein, in private law practice specializing in municipal law and arbitration.

Environmental Protection Bureau Chief

Peter H. Lehner, senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council in New York City. A veteranDirector of Environmental Prosecution for the New York City Law Department, working on federal water pollution cases, toxic discharge cases, New York city watershed issues, the sedimentation of New York harbor and oil spill cleanup cases. Former Assistant Chief of the New York City Law Department's affirmative litigation division, involved in housing, RICO, corruption and price-fixing cases. Former law clerk to Chief Judge James Browning in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, San Francisco. Graduated from Harvard College and Columbia University Law School.

Bureau Chief for Investor Protection and Securities

Eric R. DiNallo, principal securities fraud prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office conducting securities fraud and insider trading prosecutions. Also specialized in prosecuting repeat felons. Investigated and prosecuted over 50 cases including trials and hearings in areas of white collar and street crime. Former law clerk to Judge David Ebel in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Denver. Graduated from Vassar College, Duke University School of Public Policy and New York University School of Law.

Bureau Chief for Legislative Affairs

Kathy A. Bennett, staff attorney, New York Prosecutors Training Institute, developing instruction programs for district attorneys in DNA evidence admissibility and violence/sex crimes prosecutions. Former counsel to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, managing an office with over 500 employees. Managed major contracts, supervised legal staff in defending court proceedings and advancing the department's legislative agenda. Former deputy commissioner and counsel, New York State Department of Civil Service, with review and oversight of regulations, compliance with anti-discrimination laws, defending court proceedings, advancing the department's legislative agenda. Graduated from Brown University and Boston College Law School.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Public Advocacy

Terryl L. Brown, current acting Assistant Attorney General for Public Advocacy. Former Deputy Bureau Chief in the Civil Rights Bureau, managing attorneys investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations. Former Assistant Attorney General in the Litigation Bureau, representing a variety of New York State agencies and officials - Health Department, Education Department, Office of Professional Discipline - in federal civil rights cases, Medicaid litigation and professional discipline cases. Graduated from Pace University and University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Public Advocacy

Natalie M. Gomez-Velez, staff attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, engaging in public education, scholarship and advocacy in support of judicial independence and principled judicial decision-making. Former instructor at New York University School of Law, teaching research, client counseling and advocacy skills to first year law students. Former staff attorney for American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Program, litigating federal and state challenges to governmental interference with reproductive choice. Graduated from Hunter College of The City University of New York and New York University School of Law.

Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Suffolk County Office

Denis J. McElligott, in private practice specializing in negligence litigation and representing clients involved in the state mental hygiene law. A lecturer at Suffolk Academy of Law and chairman of the Suffolk County Bar Association's Plaintiff's Insurance Negligence and Compensation Committee.Graduated from St. John's University School of Law.

Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Utica Office

Joel L. Marmalstein, in private practice. Worked as attorney and general counsel to several local municipalities, authorities and boards. Long-term participant in arbitration programs operated by the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division and United States District Court. Graduated from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Washington University School of Law.