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Post date: February 16 1999

Prominent Member Of Bar Joins Spitzer Staff

Attorney General Spitzer said today that one of the nation's leading experts on tax exempt organizations has agreed to lead the Charities Bureau of the New York State Department of Law.

Spitzer said the selection of prominent New York attorney William Josephson was a defining appointment for his office.

"Bill Josephson is a true leader in the legal community," Spitzer said. "For decades, he has defined what it means to use the law as a tool to improve the human condition. He will assume a specific role as head of the Charities Bureau, however, his presence is sure to challenge and inspire everyone in the administration."

The appointment of Josephson -- a pioneer in the development of the Peace Corps and other federal programs -- was hailed by influential observers:

Sargent Shriver, Director of the Special Olympics and former Director of the Peace Corps, said: "New York State is fortunate indeed to obtain Bill Josephson as head of the state Charities Bureau. Intellectually, he is brilliant. In government service, he has vast experience. And, in legal matters, he is first class."

Michael A. Cardozo, former President of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, said: "Bill Josephson is a man of impeccable integrity who is always seeking to use the law to better society."

Harvey J. Goldschmid, General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said: "Bill Josephson is one of the wisest and most talented lawyers I know. It is enormously in the public interest to have him available to direct the state Charities Bureau."

Josephson was a partner in Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobsen in New York for many years. He is widely regarded for his work in representing public and private foundations. He has served as counsel to leading public agencies, including the City University Construction Fund, New York City Employees' Retirement Fund and New York City Board of Education.

Josephson helped Shriver develop and administer the Peace Corps in the early sixties. He served as general counsel to the agency and special assistant to the director during its formative years. He was also associated with the development of other federal programs such as Head Start, the Jobs Corps and Community Action.

Josephson is acclaimed for his work with the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and many other legal defense organizations. He is also a nationally recognized expert in the preservation of historical records and archival administration.

He is also well known as an author of articles on legal ethics and other issues. He has been an officer and active member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York for many years. With Cardozo, he helped develop key ethics reforms adopted by the bar association to curb so- called "pay-to-play" abuses in the legal community.

Josephson graduated from University of Chicago and Columbia University School of Law. He also attended St. Antony's College, Oxford University, and is a trustee of the college.

The Charities Bureau supervises charitable organizations, foundations and not-for-profit groups throughout the state, ensuring that donors and beneficiaries are protected from unscrupulous practices in the solicitation and management of charitable assets.