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Lander appoints outgoing Corporation Counsel Pestana to Conflicts of Interest Board

January 26, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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On Wednesday, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander announced the nomination of Georgia M. Pestana to the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board. 

Pestana is wrapping up her service as the city’s corporation counsel and made history as the first woman and Latina to lead the City’s Law Department. If confirmed by the City Council, Pestana would be the first appointee to the board by the NYC comptroller, following a 2019 Charter Revision.

“The Conflicts of Interest Board plays a critical role in instilling public trust in government by upholding high ethical standards, and Georgia Pestana is a skilled lawyer who will bring both independence and integrity to that work. At a time of unprecedented challenges for our city, Georgia took the helm at the Law Department and led it effectively and with empathy. I am confident she will apply this same approach as a member of the Conflicts of Interest Board,” said Lander, who was a councilmember representing Brooklyn before he was elated as comptroller.

“New York City’s public servants work hard to serve our communities and they maintain our public trust by adhering to strong ethical standards. Ensuring that clear guidelines and advice are available to prevent any potential conflicts of interest from getting in the way of that work is an essential part of fostering effective and ethical government,” said Pestana.

As corporation counsel, Pestana was responsible for representing the city in all litigation and transactional matters. Her tenure with the Law Department began over three decades ago. 

Prior to serving as the department’s corporation counsel, Pestana held several roles within the department, including as first assistant corporation counsel, executive assistant corporation counsel for employment and policy litigation, and chief of the Labor and Employment Law Division. 

Pestana earned her Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College and her J.D. from New York University School of Law.

The Conflicts of Interest Board was historically composed of five mayoral appointees. In response to concerns that the structure did not allow for sufficient independence from City Hall, in 2019 voters approved revisions to the New York City Charter to replace two of the mayoral appointees with one each by the comptroller and public advocate.

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