Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that former U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter will be the city's new corporation counsel. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
No other role in his administration attracted more interest, Bill de Blasio said, but for the city's corporation counsel, he found his ideal candidate.
"It became very clear to me that there was no one more qualified in all of New York City to play this role than Zach Carter," de Blasio said.
As the city's top lawyer, Zachary Carter will be on the legal front lines, fighting many of de Blasio's policy battles.
Though he's been in private practice the past 14 years, Carter has spent the bulk of his career in public service. From 1993 to 1999, he was the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn. Perhaps his most high-profile case was the prosecution of the New York City police officers accused of assaulting Abner Louima. More recently, he represented Brooklyn state Senator John Sampson in his corruption case.
On Sunday, de Blasio described Carter as a person of deep conscience who shares his commitment to justice, shared prosperity and progressive government.
"Both of us believe that prosperity and access to opportunity should be broadly shared, and that we have failed as a society when we do not meet the meet the needs of the least advantaged among us," Carter said.
De Blasio also spoke of an activist corporation counsel who will help him realize campaign promises like more affordable housing mandates for developers and expanding paid sick leave.
While it's unclear how de Blasio and Carter will proceed on some legal cases, on others, they'll make a sharp break from the Bloomberg approach.
"We will drop the appeal on the stop-and-frisk case because we think the judge was right about the reforms that we need to make," he said. "We will settle the Central Park Five case, because a huge injustice was done."
With de Blasio set to be sworn in on Wednesday, a number of top positions in his administration remain unfilled, among them schools chancellor. That leaves open the possibility that a number of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's commissioners in departments like fire and sanitation will remain on the job beyond January 1.\