New "Sheriff" on Wall Street fills top six jobs

NEW YORK Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:31pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Attorney General-elect Eric Schneiderman named six lawyers to join his legal staff, including a top trial lawyer as his chief deputy, when he becomes the new "Sheriff of Wall Street" on January 1.

Schneiderman takes over from fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo. He will inherit cases including Tuesday's civil fraud lawsuit against accounting firm Ernst & Young over allegations that it helped to hide Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc's financial problems before the investment bank collapsed.

The appointments include Harlan Levy, a partner and trial lawyer at high-profile law firm Boies Schiller & Flexner, to become first deputy attorney general. Levy earlier served as a homicide prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Barbara Underwood was named New York state solicitor general. She is a former federal prosecutor and deputy solicitor general of the United States.

Terryl Brown will serve as counsel to the attorney general after serving as executive vice president and general counsel of the New York Power Authority. Karla Sanchez, a partner at law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, was appointed executive deputy attorney general for economic justice.

Other appointments include Nancy Hoppock, a former federal prosecutor in New Jersey, as executive deputy attorney general for criminal justice, and Janet Sabel, the general counsel of the Legal Aid Society, who was named executive deputy attorney general for social justice.

Schneiderman, a lawyer in private practice before he was elected a state senator in 1998, defeated Republican Dan Donovan in the November election.

Schneiderman, who turns 56 on December 31, said during the campaign that the "Sheriff of Wall Street" tag is as important as ever, given the fragility of the economic recovery in the state and across the country.

"I think the New York attorney general will always be the Sheriff of Wall Street," he said in an interview with Reuters in September. "I think it's something that is now a part of the job description."

Cuomo will succeed David Paterson as governor. He is following in the footsteps of his father, Mario Cuomo, who was governor of New York from 1983 to 1994.

(Reporting by Grant McCool, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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