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Breon Peace sworn in as Long Island's top federal prosecutor

Breon Peace is sworn in Friday as the

Breon Peace is sworn in Friday as the new U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York by U.S. Chief District Judge Margo K. Brodie.  Credit: U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District

Breon Peace, who was the first Black man named a partner at his former Manhattan law firm, was sworn in Friday as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York — the top federal prosecutor on Long Island and in parts of New York City, the office announced.

Peace was elected partner at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in 2007 and concentrated on white-collar defense and litigation until he was nominated for U.S. Attorney by President Joe Biden, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office. The Senate confirmed Peace last Tuesday and he was sworn in by U.S. Chief District Judge Margo K. Brodie.

Peace, in a statement Friday, said he was honored to serve in the new role overseeing all federal prosecutions on Long Island and in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The Eastern District, which is based in Brooklyn and also has an office in Central Islip, has a staff of approximately 163 assistant U.S. attorneys and 116 support personnel.

"This Office has a long history of excellence, integrity, and outstanding service to the community," he said in the statement. "I look forward to leading the Office’s incredibly talented and dedicated women and men in addressing present and future challenges in the Eastern District. We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to pursue equal justice under the law, and protect and serve the people of the district. I am eager to get to work."

The office has prosecuted several high-profile cases on Long Island in recent years, including the corruption trials of former Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota and his top aide Christopher McPartland, as well as former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife.

Peace replaced Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, a veteran federal prosecutor, who was named the Eastern District’s acting U.S. attorney in June.

Peace, 50, a Brooklyn native, began his career at his former law firm in 1996. He worked from 1997 to 1998 as a law clerk to Judge Sterling Johnson Jr., of the Eastern District. From 2000 to 2002, he was as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District. He returned to the law firm in 2007, when he was elected partner. Before his appointment, he was a member of the firm’s white-collar defense and investigations and litigation groups.

As lead pro-bono counsel, in 2016 he won the dismissal of an indictment against a man who had spent almost 30 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murder, rape and robbery in 1981.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who recommended Peace and two other candidates for U.S. Attorney posts in the state, said in a statement in March: "Despite his considerable legal success as an accomplished attorney and as a partner at one of the nation’s top law firms, like me, Breon Peace is a Brooklyn boy at heart; he is the son of a pastor and proud product of Crown Heights and Clara Barton HS, who never forgot where he came from. And those principles of rootedness in community and treating all people with dignity and respect have been the twin pillars of his career."

Peace received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993, and his law degree in 1996 from New York University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review journal.

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