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Mayor Bill de Blasio Nominates Richard Briffault and Fernando Bohorquez, Jr. to the Conflicts of Interest Board

February 6, 2014

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NEW YORK—Today Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his nomination of Richard Briffault and Fernando Bohorquez, Jr. to the Conflicts of Interest Board. Each nominee brings extraordinary depth of experience in good government, campaign finance reform and community activism—living up to Mayor de Blasio’s pledge to build a progressive, diverse and effective government.

Members of the Conflicts of Interest Board serve staggered 6-year terms, and these two nominees—if confirmed by the City Council—would serve alongside three current members. Briffault would serve as the board’s new chair.

In making the nominations, Mayor de Blasio stressed Bohorquez and Briffault’s independence and their history of public service. A respected litigator, Bohorquez has been a powerful voice for social justice and a leader in the Latino community. Briffault has become one of the nation’s leading academic voices on government ethics whose work has guided good government groups, including Citizens Union.

“This work takes deep expertise in the law, but it also takes character and social conscience. Fernando and Richard are each extraordinary leaders and advocates for the public interest. They are committed to fairness and to protecting the people of this city. I have no doubt they will ensure this government lives up to the highest standards,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I believe that government can be a powerful tool to lift people up – but all that depends upon whether government is treating people fairly and doing its work honestly. It will be our mission to make sure every agency and every public servant meets that threshold. There are high stakes to this work, but I am confident and proud to have the opportunity to serve my city,” said Fernando Bohorquez, Jr.

“I am humbled by the confidence Mayor de Blasio has put in me. I have spent my entire career working for a more ethical and honest government. Those standards are critical not only to preserving the people’s trust, but also to effectively carrying out the work people expect of their city. We will work hard every day to make sure we set the highest bar for this city’s public servants,” said Richard Briffault.

About Fernando Bohorquez, Jr.:

Fernando Bohorquez, Jr. is a respected attorney with years of legal experience and a long history of civic engagement.

A partner at the law firm of Baker Hostetler LLP, Bohorquez currently sits on the Executive Committee of the New York Chapter of the American Constitution Society, is a past Chair of the Committee on Civil Rights of the New York State Bar Association, and is a past Secretary of the Pro Bono Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

Demonstrating a deep commitment to community involvement, Bohorquez performs pro bono legal work on immigration issues, is active on his firm’s community outreach initiative, and is a frequent speaker on panels regarding law firm diversity initiatives. He also serves on a number of philanthropic boards, including the Fund for Modern Courts and LatinoJustice PRLDEF, one of the nation’s oldest and most effective legal advocacy organizations for the Latino community.

Bohorquez is a graduate of the University of Delaware, New York Law School, and the Georgetown University Law Center.
About Richard Briffault:

Richard Briffault is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on government ethics and campaign finance law.

Briffault is currently the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School, where he has been on faculty since 1983. He has published extensively on urban governance, campaign finance, and state and federal constitutional law. Over the past three decades, Briffault has also served on numerous boards and commissions dedicated to promoting good governance in New York City and New York State.

Briffault is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Citizens Union of the City of New York, a non-partisan civic watchdog group. He also previously served as the Executive Director of the Special Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, as well as a member of the New York City Real Property Tax Reform Commission and a consultant to the New York City Charter Revision Commission and the New York State Commission on Constitutional Revisions.

Briffault is a graduate of Harvard Law School, Columbia University, and the New York City public school system.