Thursday, October 07, 2021

Waiting for a U.S. Attorney...

 ...while other districts get theirs.

Here's a NY Times article about Damian Williams, the first Black U.S. Attorney for the SDNY.

One night in December 2018, two dozen lawyers and judges gathered at a fashionable restaurant in New York’s TriBeCa neighborhood to welcome a new member, Damian Williams, into their distinguished fold.

Each had once been a federal prosecutor in Manhattan, running a special unit in the U. S. attorney’s office that investigated fraud on Wall Street. It was a job barely known to the public. But among New York’s corporate and legal elite, it was a position of power and influence, often shared by co-chiefs.

Mr. Williams was the latest appointee. That night, amid jocular toasts and ribbing, Judge Jed S. Rakoff read a whimsical poem in honor of Mr. Williams, gently mocking his self-effacing nature with an out-of-character boast:

“I’m now co-chief — my name is Damian,” the judge began. “Things will never be the same again.”

The judge was only teasing, but in one sense he got it right.

On Tuesday, Mr. Williams, 41, was confirmed by the Senate to be the next United States attorney for the Southern District of New York — a position whose occupants have included future judges, senators, cabinet members and a New York City mayor. The appointment would make Mr. Williams the most powerful federal law enforcement official in Manhattan and, significantly, the first Black person to lead the storied 232-year-old office.


“Beyond his extraordinary qualifications, Damian is the right person at this time in history to be the U.S. attorney for Manhattan,” said Theodore V. Wells Jr., a Black partner at the law firm Paul, Weiss and one of the nation’s most prominent litigators.

“It’s important for both Blacks and whites to see a person of African-American descent — especially in this time where there’s so much social unrest — in that top job,” Mr. Wells said.

David E. Patton, the city’s federal public defender, said Mr. Williams now has the opportunity to institute key reforms in the way his prosecutors charge cases, like embracing President Biden’s campaign pledge to end mandatory minimum sentences.

“This is a core issue he can tackle,” Mr. Patton said.

Another issue Mr. Williams will confront is diversity in his office: Of its 232 assistant U.S. attorneys and executives, only seven — including himself — are African American.




Anonymous said...

Tik tok

Your welcome

Anonymous said...

meanwhile no judges

Anonymous said...

Although young for such a powerful position, Williams seems like a really smart guy and a decent and thoughtful person. One can see why he was selected. We are also way overdue on seeing a Black lawyer ascend to the USAO in SDNY and other districts, including our own. The test, however, will be whether he will institute the reforms called for by David Patton and others. Word is that in our district Markenzy will get the job. Will he pursue real reforms?

Anonymous said...

Meet the new boss, same as the old one.

Who cares about reforming Office misconduct when you have a political mandate to criminalize free speech?

Anonymous said...

How can anyone justify such a sad diversity population in that office?

Tattoodtiger1 said...