New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio names Indian-American attorney as his top legal advisor

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Kapil Longani, the new Counsel to the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio. (Photo: Twitter account)

NEW YORK, N.Y. —Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today (Nov. 20)  the appointment of Kapil Longani as Counsel to the Mayor.

In that capacity, Longani, who has worked on high-profile national cases as well as on Capitol Hill, will advise the Mayor on legal matters involving City Hall and the executive staff, as well as provide counsel to the Mayor on legal aspects of policy and administrative matters, a press release from the Mayor’s office said.

“Kapil is bringing extraordinary experience and talent to City Hall,” said Mayor de Blasio is quoted saying in the press release. “His commitment to public service and strong ethical grounding are clear from his legal background, and I know he will be a valuable part of our team.”

Longani said he was “honored” to serve in the position. “I look forward to serving the people of New York City as we continue to implement the Mayor’s vision of making New York City the fairest big city in America,” Longani added.

As Counsel to the Mayor, he will be responsible for developing and advancing policy proposals by coordinating efforts across multiple mayoral offices and agencies, as well as overseeing special projects for the Mayor. The Counsel to the Mayor also serves as the liaison to the Conflict of Interest Board, the Mayor’s Judiciary Committee, and General Counsels at City agencies.

The graduate of Cornell University who has legal degrees from the University of Florida, Yale, and Oxford University, has more than a decade of legal experience in both the private and public sectors in New York City and Washington, DC.

Before joining the administration, Longani served as Senior Counsel to Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives. Longani acted as the Democratic staff’s lead investigator in several inquiries including the Flint water crisis, contractor fraud at the Department of Defense, the Department of State’s rejection of the Keystone Pipeline application, the Trump Administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States rule-making process.

Prior to his work in Congress, Longani was Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia where he prosecuted cases involving sexual assault, homicide, robbery, narcotics, and illegal firearms.

He previously worked as a litigator in New York City at the private law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He did his clerkship with Judge Roger L. Gregory of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Judge Richard Smoak of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

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