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Carolyn Pokorny named as first assistant U.S. attorney in Eastern District

January 3, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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United States Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District on Monday announced his selection of Carolyn Pokorny to serve as first assistant United States attorney (FAUSA) for the Eastern District of New York. 

As FAUSA, Pokorny oversees the Criminal, Civil, Appeals and Administrative divisions of the United States Attorney’s Office. 

Pokorny returns to the U.S. Attorney’s Office after serving since 2019 as the first female inspector general for the MTA. As MTA inspector general, she ushered in an unprecedented dedication to transparency and a willingness to take on big societal issues, such as homelessness, policing and overtime abuse, that impact the MTA, its workers, riders and taxpayers. 

Pokorny issued hundreds of recommendations for change to the authority, more than 100 of which have been implemented. Under  Pokorny’s watch, the Inspector General’s Office recouped millions of dollars for the MTA and New York State, including through high-profile criminal cases in collaboration with law enforcement partners across the region. 

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Pokorny has spent most of her career as a prosecutor and served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York for more than 14 years. During her tenure, she spent nine years in the office’s Narcotics Section, serving as a line assistant and deputy chief, before being appointed chief of narcotics in 2005. 

While serving as chief of narcotics, she spearheaded the creation of the Office’s International Narcotics Strike Force devising a national strategy for prosecuting the leaders of Mexico’s most powerful cocaine cartels, and led the international investigation that resulted in the conviction of over 30 leaders of Colombia’s most powerful cocaine cartel. 

In recognition of her work, she received the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service and the Federal Drug Agents Foundation “True American Hero” award. 

Pokorny also served as senior litigation counsel in the Public Integrity Section, as chief of the General Crimes Section and as deputy chief of the Criminal Division. 

In 2015,  Pokorny was tapped by then-U.S. Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch to serve as her deputy chief of staff and counselor. Prior to her appointment as Inspector General of the MTA in 2019, she served as special counsel for public integrity in the Executive Chamber and oversaw New York State’s Ethics, Risk and Compliance program. 

Pokorny is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School where she served as the associate managing editor of the Brooklyn Law Review. She served as an assistant district attorney in the Appeals Bureau of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, which was followed by a two-year judicial clerkship with the late United States District Judge Arthur D. Spatt of the Eastern District of New York. 

“I am pleased to welcome Carolyn back to the Eastern District of New York as first assistant U.S. attorney. We have known each other for over 20 years since having worked together as assistant U.S. attorneys in this office. Carolyn is an outstanding lawyer and proven leader with a distinguished record of public service with the Department of Justice and with the State and City of New York,” said Peace. 

“U.S. Attorney Breon Peace has already proven to be a brilliant leader, and I am humbled to have this opportunity to serve as FAUSA as he executes his vision and fulfills the mission of this office. It is also thrilling for me to return to the place that was my professional home for better part of two decades and rejoin the broader EDNY community of judges, defense attorneys and talented courthouse staff,” said First Assistant United States Attorney Pokorny.

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