Sen. Charles Schumer is recommending career prosecutor Robert L. Capers to succeed Attorney General Loretta Lynch as the United States attorney for the district covering Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Capers, 44, a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York since 2003, was recently a key member of the trial team that convicted former Brooklyn Assemb. William Boyland on corruption charges.
Capers' family has deep roots in the NYPD, Schumer said in announcing his choice Thursday. "He understands the delicate balance . . . between protecting the community from the threat of crime and protecting the civil rights of the people in the community," Schumer said. "He learned this from his mom and his dad, an NYPD cop, and his brother, also an NYPD cop, and from his own considerable and deep life experience."
The recommendation by Schumer, New York's senior Democratic senator, would normally be followed by the White House. No timetable was announced on a formal nomination by President Barack Obama, and the White House did not comment.
Capers was born in the Bronx, raised in Rockland County and lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, according to the senator's office. Schumer described him as a prosecutor "in the mold of Loretta Lynch, really smart, hardworking, nose to the grindstone; not flashy but gets the job done and gets it done superbly."
Peter Quijano, Boyland's defense lawyer in the ex-legislator's trial last year, seconded that description, saying that during plea negotiations and later trial Capers never seemed eager for headlines or taking down a prominent politician. "Based on my dealings, he was never one who was motivated in any negotiations for anything other than trying to serve his office appropriately," Quijano said. "He's fair, he's reasonable, he understands crime and the realities of prosecuting crime. I'm thrilled."
Capers, who declined to comment Thursday, is a senior litigation counsel in the Brooklyn federal prosecutor's public integrity unit. He previously worked for the Manhattan district attorney and New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor.