Council Approves Peters as New Investigations Chief

, New York Law Journal

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New York City Council members on Tuesday approved Mark Peters as commissioner of the Department of Investigation, the watchdog office that probes city employees and contractors for corruption, fraud, waste or unethical conduct.

Mayor Bill de Blasio nominated Peters, 48, a partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer and the mayor's former campaign treasurer, for the position, which pays $205,180 a year. On Tuesday, 48 council members supported Peters' nomination, two opposed and one abstained.

Councilman Brad Lander, the chair of the rules committee that grilled Peters last week for more than three hours, said Tuesday that Peters has the credentials and vision to lead the DOI, and "the only significant concern" was Peters' recent political ties to de Blasio and whether he could zealously fulfill the job duties and hold the mayor and others city officials accountable.

"He passes this test, he's shown he will apply the law as the facts dictate," Lander said.

Councilman Jumaane Williams abstained from voting, stating he was concerned about the precedent that Peters' nomination sets. Williams said he was "still deeply conflicted" about Peters holding a political position for de Blasio within the last month.

Meanwhile, Councilman Dan Garodnick, who voted to approve the nomination, urged Peters to independently choose the inspector general of the New York Police Department, a newly created role within the DOI, "without any influence of the mayor." Peters told council members last week that de Blasio would have "significant input" in the inspector general choice.

Peters told the Law Journal Tuesday he will likely start at the DOI this month.

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