New Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has his work cut out for him days after taking office — including an ongoing investigation into the Trump Corporation that his predecessor, Cy Vance Jr., had launched.
To help him handle his new responsibilities, Bragg assembled a team of legal eagles from across the criminal justice spectrum with a primary mission: to expand public safety and hold lawbreakers accountable.
“We have brought together an exceptional group of highly experienced professionals, including leaders who have worked in this office, led other offices and bring real life experiences to help reimagine DANY to deliver safety and justice for all,” Bragg said in a statement on Monday.
Bragg named Meg Reiss as his Chief Assistant District Attorney, making her the office’s second-in-command. Reiss previously worked with Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez as the chief of the Social Justice Bureau, which sought to enhance community-led public safety programs.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to join Alvin Bragg’s Manhattan District Attorney team and look forward to working with them to advance innovative reforms in the criminal legal system to protect community safety,” Reiss said. “I’ve spent my career helping to keep communities safe and I have seen first hand how the work of prosecutors can not only prevent crime, but also improve relationships between the justice system and those it serves.”
She also has what Bragg’s office called “deep expertise in white collar enforcement, including having led investigations of major financial institutions concerning violations of key areas of enforcement for Manhattan, including money laundering, antitrust and securities.”
Such crimes are the focus of the Manhattan DA’s office’s ongoing investigation into the Trump Organization, which Bragg inherited from Vance upon taking office New Year’s Day. The Trump Organization, founded by former President Donald Trump and led by his children Donald Jr. and Ivanka, has been under scrutiny for alleged financial crimes.
Vance engaged in a protracted legal battle with the former president to obtain his tax returns, finally securing them last year after two cases reached the Supreme Court. That led to the indictment of the Trump Organization and one of its bigwigs, Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, on charges of tax fraud. Vance also convened a second grand jury connected to the investigation, leaving open the possibility that former President Trump, or one of his children, might also be indicted on criminal charges.
In addition to Reiss, Bragg — who successfully indicted the Trump Foundation as a member of the state Attorney General’s office — also retained Carey Dunne as special counsel, offering “advice on significant investigations and prosecutions.” Dunne had previously advised former Manhattan DA Vance on legal, policy and strategic issues related to the Trump Organization case.
Other members of Bragg’s executive team have a focus on battling domestic violence, including former acting Nassau County DA Joyce Smith, who prosecuted such cases for 15 years while previously serving the Queens District Attorney’s office; Sherene Crawford, formerly a member of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and Safe Horizon; and Peter Pope, a prosecutor who helped create more comprehensive human trafficking laws.
Bragg had previously pledged to change the way the Manhattan DA’s office prosecutes cases of domestic violence.
The executive team also includes prosecutors charged with boosting community engagement and criminal justice reform. They include Brian Crow, former deputy director at the New York City Council, who will serve as executive assistant DA for public policy; Leslie Dubeck, former general counsel to the city Department of Investigation, as general counsel; Terri Rosenblatt, former head of the DNA unit of the Legal Aid Society, as chief of the Post-Conviction Justice Unit; and Nicholas Viorst, who will head up the Police Integrity and Accountability Unit.
Both Rosenblatt and Viorst will report directly to Bragg.