Manhattan Federal judges now oversee three New York City agencies with court-appointed monitors

By LOUIS FLORES

Last month, the de Blasio administration faced the third instance of a court-appointed monitor to have oversight powers over a city agency.

In proceedings in a class-action mold abatement case before U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley, the court appointed Francis McGovern, a Duke University School of Law professor, who has extensive experience in mass tort litigation, to serve as a special master, to oversee the New York City Housing Authority’s compliance with a consent agreement calling for the abatement of mold from housing developlments.

Profesor McGovern becomes the third such court-appointed monitor to oversee a city agency.

In 2015, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced a framework of a settlement agreement that brought court-ordered reforms to Rikers Island, one of the nation’s worst jail systems.  A condition of the settlement included the appointment by U.S. Magistrate Judge James Francis, IV, of a monitor to oversee a critical part of New York City's law enforcement and correctional departments.  Since the commencement of his appointment, the independent Federal monitor, Steve Martin, has been serving as a watchdog over Rikers Island.

In 2013, Peter Zimroth was appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin to serve as a federal monitor of the New York Police Department following a landmark constitutional, class action case, Floyd v. City of New York, challenging the NYPD's illegal use of "stop and frisk."

Brooklyn Federal judge appointment of FDNY monitor

In 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis from New York's eastern district ordered the appointment of a monitor, the lawyer Mark Cohen, to oversee Fire Department of New York's hiring practises.