Mayor-elect chooses chief counsel, DOI commissioner

Mayor Eric Adams received a thumbps up from a majority of voters according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. PoliticsNY file Photo.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams, just a stone’s throw away from inauguration, was excited to announce Brendan McGuire as chief counsel to the mayor and Jocelyn Strauber as commissioner of the Department of Investigation on Dec. 17. 

“As someone who has always valued the role attorneys play in government and has surrounded himself with talented counsel, I appreciate that the City’s lawyers must play an essential role in improving the government’s performance in every area, with a critical focus on accountability and transparency. That is why I have asked Brendan McGuire to serve as my Chief Counsel,” Adams said in a press release.

Though he is currently a partner at WilmerHale in New York, McGuire more notably served 11 years as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York.

“My lead advisors must have impeccable judgment and be willing to provide me with their candid advice about the varied challenges we will face together,” Adams said. 

During his time in the federal office, the attorney served as Chief of the Public Corruption Unit and Chief of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.

In the release, McGuire said, “I love the City. It is a privilege to return to public service to work on behalf of its residents. The Mayor-elect is uniquely positioned to bring us together and bring us back to where we belong. And I look forward to working with him, the City Hall team and the dedicated and talented attorneys across city government to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.”

Strauber, who will head investigations, also worked at the U.S. Attorney’s office in the south district. She currently works as partner in the Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime Group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she tries criminal and civil cases. 

“By fighting corruption, waste, fraud, and abuse, and holding all City employees to the highest ethical standard, this independent office plays a critical role in safeguarding the City’s precious resources and ensuring that City agencies work better for all New Yorkers,” Strauber said. 

She and McGuire have both dealt with several high profile cases. During her stint at the U.S. Attorney’s office, Strauber was also co-chief of the Criminal Division’s Terrorism & International Narcotics Unit.

“For DOI to be effective, it must have an experienced, respected, and independent leader. Jocelyn Strauber is that leader. As a proven investigator, prosecutor, and defense attorney, she has the character, judgment, and skills needed for this critically important role,” said mayor-elect Adams.