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Post date: June 29 2011

A.G. Schneiderman Appoints Westchester Public Integrity Officer To Combat Corruption

Newly Designated Public Integrity Officer Gives New Yorkers A Place To Report Government Corruption Without Fear Of Political Influence

Schneiderman Fulfills Commitment To Tackle Government Corruption At All Levels To Restore Confidence In Public Sector

WHITE PLAINS – As part of his effort to crack down on corruption and restore the public's trust in government, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the designation of a public integrity officer to serve in the Attorney General's Westchester Regional Office. Wanda Perez-Maldonado will be charged with giving taxpayers a place to go to report complaints of government corruption without fear of local politics influencing the outcome.

“When it comes to combating local public corruption, the people of Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties deserve a dedicated 'cop on the beat.' Designating a public integrity officer here will go a long way to root out corruption and address the concerns of local taxpayers,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “As Westchester’s public integrity officer, Wanda Perez-Maldonado will give everyday citizens a place to take complaints where they know they can and will be examined without fear or favor."

As part of his sweeping reform initiative to restore confidence in the public sector, Attorney General Schneiderman is designating public integrity officers in all of the regional offices across the state to police local government corruption. Schneiderman’s appointment reflects a renewed commitment of time and energy in the regional office devoted to public integrity matters, and will formally link the regional office to the Attorney General’s central Public Integrity Bureau.

Wanda Perez-Maldonado has worked in the New York State Attorney General's Office since 2003, as both a prosecutor in the Organized Crime Task Force and as a civil litigator in the Westchester Regional Office. Previously, Perez-Maldonado was an Assistant District Attorney at the Bronx County District Attorney's Office in the Investigations Unit, Rackets Bureau. As an ADA, Perez-Maldonado prosecuted cases involving corruption and official misconduct. She also investigated allegations of misconduct by members of the New York City Police Department, the New York City Department of Correction, and other New York City agencies. Perez-Maldonado is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law.

In addition to Westchester, the Attorney General has regional offices outside of New York City in Buffalo, Long Island, Plattsburgh, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, Utica and Watertown.

Russ Haven, Legislative Counsel at New York Public Interest Research Group, Inc. (NYPIRG), said: “Attorney General Schneiderman’s initiative to place a public integrity officer in each regional office to root out local wrongdoing is a major step forward in the fight to hold accountable those who defraud the taxpayers of this state. Whistleblowers and other New Yorkers who see local fraud and waste will now have a local point person to share in confidence their potentially vital information. We applaud the Attorney General for making public integrity a top priority, and working to reform our state government from top to bottom.”

"It is an honor to serve as Westchester’s Public Integrity Officer, and I’m proud to assist Attorney General Schneiderman in fulfilling his pledge to root out public corruption and increase government transparency,” said Perez-Maldonado. “We encourage the people of this region to contact our office if they know of or suspect cases of government corruption.”

Individuals in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties with information about public corruption cases are urged to contact Ms. Perez-Maldonado at the Attorney General's White Plains Regional Office: (914) 422-8755.

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