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PR- 047-04
March 4, 2004


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the appointment of Judge Joseph F. Bruno as the new Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM).  A current Supreme Court justice in Kings County and a former Fire Commissioner, Judge Bruno replaces John T. Odermatt, who resigned at the end of last year.  The appointment is effective Monday, April 5th, after Judge Bruno has retired from State Supreme Court.

"Judge Bruno has a long and distinguished career in public service," Mayor Bloomberg said. "With broad experience in public safety and a record of making government agencies work, he has the ability to make sure the City is well prepared for whatever events lie ahead of us.  We need to make sure that the nation's leading City is the leading City in emergency preparedness. We have too much at stake to settle for anything less."

"Being mindful of the importance of OEM to the health and safety and safety of those who live and work in our great City, I accept the challenge offered to me by Mayor Bloomberg with pride and anticipation of the work ahead. The mission of OEM will be refined and directed toward emergency planning and critical information management. We will act as the information and contact conduit for the Mayor and City government in the event of a serious emergency. OEM will review and test the City's preparedness for serious emergencies and will generate operationally sound plans with our partners in other City agencies. We will also reach out as broadly as possible to the private and quasi-public sectors to form partnerships toward enhancing the City's emergency preparedness program. I expect to work closely and cooperatively with our state and federal counterparts to meet all required mandates and to seek all available funding needed to better the City's emergency preparedness and to make and keep New York City as safe as possible," Judge Bruno said.

The Mayor also announced that he has asked Judge Bruno to examine OEM's response program with an eye towards reducing day-to-day responses better handled by other agencies, such as the Police Department, Fire Department or the Community Assistance Unit.  This will allow OEM to spend more time and resources toward developing contingency plans for the City and City agencies for use during emergencies.

Judge Bruno has dedicated his entire life to public service.  He served in various posts in the City Law Department, from 1971 to 1983, rising from a trial attorney to Chief of the General Litigation and Tort Divisions. In 1983, he went to the Fire Department, where he served as its First Deputy Commissioner. In 1986, after a scandal rocked the City's Parking Violations Bureau, he directed that agency back to operational normalcy.  He returned to the Fire Department to serve as its Commissioner from 1987 to 1990.  After a year in the private sector at Urbitran Associates, he was elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York and was assigned to the Criminal Court in 1991. He was elevated to Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Kings County in 1996.  Judge Bruno was re-elected to the Civil Court in 2001 [same position in 2002] and elected as a Justice of the Supreme Court in 2002.  He graduated from City College in 1966 with a B.S. in Economics and graduated from St. John's Law School in 1968.


Edward Skyler/Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958

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