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AG adds 2 to focus on LI public corruption

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (May

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. (May 13, 2011) Photo Credit:

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday that he has appointed two new prosecutors to focus on public corruption in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Despite highly publicized cases involving Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and the Long Island Power Authority, Schneiderman said at a news conference that no particular incident is prompting the effort.

The assignment of a public integrity officer at the attorney general's Mineola and Hauppauge offices is intended to "make sure there is someone you can go to about public corruption," Schneiderman told reporters after a breakfast speech to the Long Island Association in Melville, where he announced the appointments.

The appointees "will focus exclusively on rooting out abuse and fraud by public officials so that New Yorkers can have confidence that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely and everyone is playing by the same set of rules," he said.

The naming of Victoria Safran in Nassau and Kimberly Kinirons in Suffolk are the second in a series of similar appointments Schneiderman said he'll make in each of his 12 regional offices statewide. He filled the Rochester slot in May.

Long Island Association president and CEO Kevin Law said Schneiderman had made "a good" point in his speech, "that the business community wants to see trust restored in government as well as on Wall Street.

"If you look at the chaos in Albany the last few years, it's given the state a bad image on top of the bad business climate," Law said. "If you're thinking about locating to a state or expanding in the state, it's a discouragement if the state is not functioning governmentally."

Safran, an assistant state attorney general since 2004, has focused on deceptive business practices and fraud in Internet, mortgage, securities, and charitable transactions. Kinirons, an assistant attorney general since 2006, has served as legal counsel representing the state, its agencies and employees. Schneiderman spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua said both live in the counties where they will be working.

Last month, Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced an agreement to form a joint task force to crack down on state government waste and fraud.

With Yancey Roy

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