By Victoria Merlino
James Johnson, a former assistant U.S. attorney and Brennan Center for Justice board chair, was named New York City’s new Corporation Counsel by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday.
Johnson will lead the New York City Law Department and its staff of almost 1,000 lawyers.
“New York City’s Law Department doesn’t just represent the City, it fights for the values of fairness, justice and tolerance that New Yorkers hold, and it needs leaders who have spent their lives on the front lines of that fight,” de Blasio said in a statement.
“Throughout his exemplary career, James Johnson has shown he knows the power of our laws to hold the corrupt to account, protect the defenseless, and strengthen the voices of those who have been, for far too long, ignored,” he continued.
Johnson is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and has worked in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He was a founding member of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration, came in second in New Jersey’s 2017 Democratic primary for the gubernatorial race. Earlier this year, he was tapped by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to assist in the state’s takeover of Atlantic City.
“New York City has always led the way for our nation, not just serving as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all, but enshrining those ideals in law. Those are the same core values I’ve fought to uphold throughout my career,” Johnson said. “It’s an honor to be the lawyer for the 8.6 million people of New York and the government that serves them, and I’m excited to work with Mayor de Blasio to continue advancing our shared values over the coming years.”