By LOUIS FLORES
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will receive an award for "Outstanding Prosecutor" at the annual meeting of The New York State Bar Association. The award will be bestowed on Wednesday during an awards luncheon at the New York Hilton Midtown on Avenue of the Americas. News of the award was first reported in an article published by The New York Law Journal.
It is not yet known if the the awards ceremony will be streamed lived over the Internet. Requests made by Progress Queens to the U.S. Attorney's Office and to the State bar association for information about whether U.S. Attorney Bharara will be delivering a speech on the occasion of the awards ceremony and whether the luncheon will be live-streamed have not been answered. Registration to attend the awards luncheon costs $110, according to the State bar association.
Progress Queens has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, seeking records about U.S. Attorney Bharara's speeches. Some of U.S. Attorney Bharara's speeches have been made in private settings or behind the paywall of convention registration fees. The Web site for the U.S. Attorney's Office does not provide information, transcripts, or recordings for all of U.S. Attorney Bharara's speeches.
In the past, U.S. Attorney Bharara has delivered notable public speeches following the arrest of significant Government officials. In 2015, U.S. Attorney Bharara delivered a speech at New York Law School one day after former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Lower East Side) was arrested on several counts of Federal corruption charges. During that speech then, U.S. Attorney Bharara used his speech as a platform to explain to the public some of the philosophy that underlies the work of the prosecutors in his office.
The prosecutors in the office of U.S. Attorney Bharara are reportedly leading a wide-ranging, Federal corruption investigation of the Government of the City of New York that ranges from the privately-paid activities of some of the top officers of the New York Police Department to the campaign fundraising activities of Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City). The awards ceremony on Wednesday will be an opportunity for U.S. Attorney Bharara to possibly deliver a speech as one of the top officers of the U.S. Department of Justice in the new Trump administration, following the departure of U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Several top de Blasio administration officials have left office to pursue other opportunities in the wake of the wide-ranging, Federal corruption investigation, including former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and some of the City's top officials tasked with setting Municipal real estate policy. In a report published on Monday by The New York Post, it was noted that political fallout from the Federal investigation may damage the chances of City Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-Queens), an ally of Mayor de Blasio, of becoming the next New York City Council speaker.