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PR- 272-11
July 27, 2011


Brought Key Reforms as ACS Deputy Commissioner before becoming Family Court Judge

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the appointment of Judge Ronald E. Richter as Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Judge Richter brings 20 years of child services experience to the role, including serving as a Deputy Commissioner for ACS under outgoing Commissioner John Mattingly and working in City Hall alongside Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, where he helped oversee ACS. Judge Richter’s exemplary service with Deputy Mayor Gibbs and Commissioner Mattingly led Mayor Bloomberg to appoint him to the bench in 2009 where he adjudicated the many types of cases that ACS brings to Court, including child abuse, neglect and custodial cases and often had to issue the difficult decision about whether and when it is in the best interest of a child to separate him or her from a parent. As Commissioner Mattingly steps down, the breadth of experience Judge Richter brings from his years at Legal Aid, ACS and with the Judiciary make him uniquely suited to lead ACS in its multifaceted child protective roles.  Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement at City Hall where he was joined by Deputy Mayor Gibbs, Commissioner Mattingly and child welfare providers and advocates. 

“Whenever someone leaves our Administration, it’s our goal to find someone who can do the job even better,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Given Ron Richter’s extensive experience and abilities, we are highly confident we have found that person.  Six years ago, John Mattingly hired Ron as a Deputy ACS Commissioner, and together, they instituted major reforms that made the agency far more effective.  Now, Ron will build on that progress and help us do even more to protect our City’s most vulnerable children.” 

“I am honored that Mayor Bloomberg has asked me to lead New York City's Administration for Children's Services. Building on the significant progress made by Commissioner Mattingly, I will work tirelessly to protect the City's vulnerable children while ensuring that troubled families are supported,” said the Honorable Ronald E. Richter. “Leveraging my experience in Family Court and the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, I am committed to advancing the mission of ACS to protect our young people, to find loving homes for them in foster care, to deliver services that help youth in our juvenile justice system, and to provide high quality child care to the working families of New York.”

“John Mattingly has inspired countless young and committed child advocates to work smarter, harder, and better as they have matured into true professionals,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “Ron Richter is exactly the right leader for ACS today. He will hit the ground running, with the same unflappable enthusiasm and deep passion that has guided his career up until now.”

Judge Richter has been a Family Court Judge since January 2009, adjudicating the child protective issues brought by ACS attorneys including child abuse, neglect, termination of parental rights, custody and permanency.  As a Judge, he led a team to ensure that legal matters affecting children and families received expedited attention. Judge Richter also led the Queens Child Protective Initiative to coordinate efforts to advance prompt permanency for children.  Before Mayor Bloomberg appointed him to the bench, Judge Richter served him and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs as the City’s second Family Services Coordinator, ensuring that gaps in services to the City’s most vulnerable populations were identified and eliminated.  In this role, he helped Deputy Mayor Gibbs and Commissioner Mattingly manage ACS and also provided oversight to the Mayor’s Interagency Task Force on Child Welfare and Safety.

In 2005, Commissioner Mattingly appointed Judge Richter Deputy Commissioner of ACS, where he helped create systemic reforms after the death of Nixzmary Brown. These included implementing weekly accountability sessions to review child safety data, recruiting law enforcement officers into child protection to help with investigative practice and increasing prospective hiring to manage safe caseload limits.

Judge Richter also led and managed the ACS division responsible for representing the Commissioner in all matters before the City’s five family courts.  In addition, he developed, implemented and provided oversight to the ACS Juvenile Justice Initiative. 

From 1991 to 2002, Judge Richter held attorney roles at the Legal Aid Society, where he worked with ACS and its predecessor agencies, representing children in juvenile delinquency, child protection and parental rights proceedings.  As the Deputy Attorney-in-Charge for Legal Aids’ Juvenile Rights Division, he led and managed the nation’s largest direct service children’s advocacy organization and was responsible for a staff of attorneys, socials workers and support staff representing children in social services situations.

Judge Richter earned his B.A. from Tufts University, his M.S. from Boston University College of Communications and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law. He lives in Long Island City, Queens, with his spouse and their daughter.

Outgoing Commissioner John B. Mattingly, who served for seven years, will step down in September.


Stu Loeser/Samantha Levine   (212) 788-2958


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