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Preet’s counterpart in Brooklyn will be . . . ?
Donald Trump wasted little time after his presidential win in announcing he would reappoint public corruption prober Preet Bharara as U.S. attorney for the Southern District, but there’s been no word on who will run the Eastern District prosecutor’s office.
New York’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, was the liaison between Trump and Bharara, once one of Schumer’s top aides. But that was when the leader of the Democratic minority and Trump were still playing nice. With the two now on the outs, Republican Party leaders and those close to Trump are throwing all sorts of names into the hat. Robert Capers, who replaced Loretta Lynch when she became the U.S. attorney general, surely is not staying on.
Dozens of names are circulating, and a few are rising to the top. They include Steven Losquadro, who practices civil and criminal law in Rocky Point and was a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Losquadro told The Point he “was honored” to be under consideration.
Another is Christopher McGrath, who has lost two bids for State Senate but is well known in state legal circles and is a former head of the Nassau County Bar Association.
Joan Illuzzi, who was a star in the Manhattan DA’s office before leaving to make an unsuccessful run for Staten Island district attorney in 2015, is also interested. She was hired back by the DA’s office as head of its Hate Crimes Unit and to resolve the case of Etan Patz, which ended this week with the conviction of Pedro Hernandez.
Experience as a prosecutor in the federal system, however, is often considered crucial. Marc Mukasey, whose father, Michael, was U.S. attorney general under George W. Bush, does have that on his resume. Mukasey specializes in white-collar criminal defense work and is very close to Rudy Giuliani. Mukasey has defended executives involved in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the fraud case involving mortgages sold by Countrywide Financial. Mukasey was a prosecutor for eight years in the Southern District.
Now that Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is in place, the pace for filling U.S. attorney spots is expected to get on the fast track. Will Sessions, a former senator from Alabama, take a call from a current senator from Brooklyn about who is the best fit for the job? And if he doesn’t, will Schumer use the power of the Senate’s “blue slip” to put a permanent hold on the nomination?
Unique Nassau primary kicks off
The first public battle between the Democratic candidates for Nassau County executive won’t be a battle at all, if organizers have their way.
The Rockville Centre Democratic Club plans to hold a conversational event attended by Nassau County Legis. Laura Curran, Glen Cove Assemb. Charles Lavine and Comptroller George Maragos at 7:30 p.m. March 2 at South Side High School.
Organizers stress that it won’t be a debate, but a chance for candidates to speak about their vision of how the county ought to be run and to take questions from attendees.
This is a unique primary race in that all three of these candidates need the exposure such an event can provide. Each has a constituency, but none is so well-known countywide — or in Maragos’ case, so well-liked by Democrats after deserting the GOP to make this run — that he or she can afford to skip opportunities for exposure and assume that the support of the party machinery (Curran), access to money and name recognition (Maragos) or a long history of public service (Lavine) will carry them through.
What’s next? A laugh
Term-limited New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito delivered her final State of the City address on Thursday, which started with a video about the big question she’s been getting: “What’s next?”
The video featured the speaker thinking big, trying her hand at pro basketball and even Broadway, including a cameo audition conducted by “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose father worked for New York politicians including Chuck Schumer, Ed Koch and Fernando Ferrer.
Finding out what’s next might be as difficult as singing Angelica Schuyler’s “Hamilton” part. Mark-Viverito was rumored to be heading to Clintonland if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency.
Mark-Viverito says she’s “discussing” options, but has a good sense of humor about her future. If Broadway doesn’t work out, might we suggest principal clarinet for the New York Philharmonic or construction boss for the (full) Second Avenue Subway?