When Carolyn Pokorny was a special counsel to former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2019, his office environment requested her to recruit a previous federal prosecutor to turn out to be the inspector typical for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
She happened to healthy the task description: She experienced spent virtually 15 several years in Brooklyn as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Japanese District of New York.
“So, I finished up nominating myself,” Ms. Pokorny mentioned with a laugh in an interview on Friday. Her two-plus a long time in the inspector typical write-up — wherever it was her job to root out fraud, squander and abuse in the nation’s biggest transit procedure — have been among the the most worthwhile of her profession, she reported.
Now, she is again in the Brooklyn federal prosecutor’s business: On Monday, she began operate as the initial assistant U.S. attorney, second in command to the new leader of the workplace, Breon S. Peace.
“Carolyn is an superb lawyer and verified leader with a distinguished history of public assistance with the Division of Justice and with the Point out and City of New York,” Mr. Peace wrote in a news release on Monday saying her appointment. “I glimpse forward to our functioning together in pursuing this office’s mission and advancing the pursuits of justice and equality for the folks of this district.”
Ms. Pokorny, 52, will oversee the office’s felony, civil, appeals and administrative divisions.
In her new position, she explained, she hopes to bolster the associations involving the federal prosecutor’s office and the men and women who are living in its jurisdiction: The Eastern District of New York prosecutes federal crimes in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and Very long Island.
“I feel the business will be far more ahead-leaning,” Ms. Pokorny reported, adding that she and Mr. Peace hoped to “make community relations a centerpiece” of their operate, and planned to fulfill with the community, host occasions and enhance outreach efforts.
In part, she claimed, this is a lesson she discovered at the M.T.A., where by she understood “the substantial power” of getting open to scrutiny and problems about the transit agency from the two riders and its extra than 70,000 workers.
In the interests of transparency, her place of work publicized specific development experiences on homelessness in the subways, extra time abuses, defective infrastructure and allegations of corruption and solicited feed-back from the public, she claimed.
“People and agencies behave greater when they know the public is seeing them,” Ms. Pokorny mentioned.
Immediately after finishing her undergraduate diploma at New York College, Ms. Pokorny attended Brooklyn Regulation Faculty. She worked for 3 yrs at the Bronx district attorney’s business, then clerked for a federal decide in Brooklyn.
In 1999, she joined the U.S. attorney’s office environment in Brooklyn, where she worked together with Mr. Peace, who also served as a federal prosecutor in the office environment. In his concept Monday, Mr. Peace pointed out that he had recognized Ms. Pokorny for extra than 20 decades.
One particular of Ms. Pokorny’s instances designed headlines for unexpected explanations. In March 2008, she was attacked in a courtroom by a man who had been convicted in a drug situation she had prosecuted. The guy, Victor Wright, had sneaked a razor into Federal District Court docket in Brooklyn for his sentencing hearing, and he all of a sudden lunged at Ms. Pokorny, choking her and pinning her beneath him.
Two federal marshals, the court docket reporter and Mr. Wright’s law firm leapt on him. Ms. Pokorny was dealt with for minimal accidents and returned to work the upcoming working day with bruises on her neck.
She went on to guide the narcotics and income laundering unit and created the office’s global narcotics and revenue-laundering strike force.
From that placement, she formulated a national technique to prosecute Mexico’s most impressive drug cartel leaders, which includes Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and oversaw the investigation that resulted in the conviction of much more than two dozen leaders of Colombia’s “Norte Valle” cartel on fees of murder, dollars laundering and drug trafficking.
In 2011, Loretta Lynch, then the U.S. attorney for the Japanese District, named her deputy chief of the office’s legal division. She also led many public-corruption investigations.
After a short stint at a New York law agency, in 2015 Ms. Pokorny was appointed deputy chief of team to Ms. Lynch, who had been named legal professional typical by President Barack Obama. In 2017, soon after Donald J. Trump grew to become president, she joined the Cuomo administration.
The U.S. attorney’s place of work Ms. Pokorny now will help oversee has been conducting vast-ranging investigations into Mr. Cuomo, who resigned from place of work in August soon after a report by Letitia James, the New York point out lawyer common, identified that he experienced sexually harassed 11 ladies.
Federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. have been examining his managing of nursing household fatalities during the pandemic and achievable civil-rights violations stemming from the harassment and misconduct allegations in his business office.
For the reason that Ms. Pokorny labored for Mr. Cuomo, she will recuse herself from any investigations into him or the govt chamber, in keeping with typical observe, in accordance to two people briefed on the make a difference.
The office environment is also managing the prosecution of Thomas J. Barrack Jr., an ally of Mr. Trump who was charged in July with lobbying violations and obstruction of justice. Mr. Barrack has pleaded not guilty.