FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG CREATES THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT TO EXPAND ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVES ACROSS THE CITY AND IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE IN ALL FIVE BOROUGHS
New Office Replaces Office of Midtown Enforcement and Expands Coordination of Multi-City Agency Inspection, Investigation and Enforcement Activities Across the City
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the creation of the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement (OSE), which replaces the former Office of Midtown Enforcement and expands its activities to all five boroughs. OSE is responsible for coordinating enforcement efforts across City agencies to address quality of life issues related to notorious adult use locations, lawless clubs, trademark counterfeiting bazaars and illegal conversions of apartment buildings into hotels. Prior to the establishment of OSE, the Office of Midtown Enforcement focused its investigative and enforcement efforts primarily in midtown Manhattan. OSE ensures that these enforcement efforts are leveraged across all five boroughs to address dangerous conditions at properties that require a coordinated, multi-agency response. OSE will be located within the Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator and will report to Deputy Mayor for Administration Edward Skyler. Mayor Bloomberg today also announced the appointment of Shari C. Hyman as the Director of the Office of Special Enforcement.
"Unfortunately, illegal and hazardous building conditions exist in all parts of our City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The establishment of the Office of Special Enforcement is a testament to the achievements of the Office of Midtown Enforcement - which for 30 years succeeded in shutting down illegal operations and shuttering dangerous buildings throughout midtown. Through OSE, we'll be able to leverage the same enforcement tools we developed over the years to coordinate multi-agency resources and address quality of life issues across all five boroughs for the benefit and safety of all New Yorkers."
"Building on the successful enforcement initiatives we've established in midtown, the new Office of Special Enforcement will now take those initiatives across the City," said Deputy Mayor Skyler. "Improving and maintaining the quality of life for all New Yorkers is important. Through a coordinated and multi-agency response, OSE will ensure that illegal and dangerous activities are identified and addressed quickly. Already, OSE has launched aggressive initiatives cracking down on film piracy and the use of apartments as illegal hotels."
"A coordinated multi-agency approach ensures that the City can utilize every available tool to fight quality of life problems that matter most to New Yorkers," said Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt. "When agencies work together, they forge innovative and cutting edge solutions to hard to solve problems. Shari Hyman brings a wide range of experience to OSE and will be a strong leader as we exercise the office's resources in all five boroughs."
Just established by Executive Order No. 96, OSE will act as the umbrella agency overseeing joint investigations, joint inspections and supervising measures to bring identified properties into compliance with the law. OSE will also coordinate the issuance of notices of violation of the City's Fire Prevention, Health and Building codes. This includes coordinating the inspection resources of a number of City agencies, including the Police Department, Fire Department, Buildings Department, Department of Consumer Affairs, Department of Environmental Protection, Housing Preservation and Development, Finance Department and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, among others. OSE is comprised of 12 staff members, ten of whom have been specifically designated to serve at OSE by many of the above listed agencies. OSE will also work with the City's Corporation Counsel to file any necessary civil litigation to abate nuisances or otherwise support the functions of the office.
Mayor Bloomberg today also announced that Shari Hyman will serve as the Director of OSE. Prior to joining the Mayor's Office, Ms. Hyman served as Deputy Executive Director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB). She also served previously as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan working in both the trial division and the labor racketeering unit. Ms. Hyman received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University and law degree from Northwestern University.
"I am honored to be appointed to a position that will play a critical role in ensuring that the City's resources are leveraged for the benefit and safety of all New Yorkers," said Hyman. "OSE will bring vital enforcement tools to all parts of the City to identify problem places and offer remedies and solutions. It is a privilege to serve Mayor Bloomberg in this capacity and I look forward to serving the City well."
The Office of Midtown Enforcement was created in 1976 to coordinate enforcement activities and improve quality of life conditions in Times Square. Most recently, the office coordinated these enforcement efforts in a larger area of Manhattan, from 14th Street to 60th Street, East to West. During the Bloomberg Administration, the office seized more than $50 million of counterfeit trademarked goods, closed down 17 large-scale counterfeit distribution centers and closed several nightclubs that were known locations for facilitating narcotics trafficking and prostitution in the area. In addition, the City has collected more than $1 million in connection with legal settlements arising from lawsuits against the building owners where trademark counterfeiting occurred.
Stu Loeser/Virginia Lam (212) 788-2958