Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: January 31, 2000

Seal of the Unified Court System
Court System Names Special Inspector General for Fiduciary Appointments
 NEW YORK - Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced the appointment of Sherrill R. Spatz as the Unified Court System's Special Inspector General for Fiduciary Appointments. Ms. Spatz will head a new office charged with the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing compliance with court rules governing judicial appointment of guardians, guardians ad litem, receivers, referees and others that assist the courts in resolving cases. The office will also investigate whether violations of existing rules have occurred and refer its findings to appropriate disciplinary authorities as necessary. The creation of this office is the first step in a comprehensive program announced three weeks ago by Chief Judge Kaye following recent allegations that certain fiduciary appointments in New York City have been made on the basis of political party affiliation and service.

Chief Judge Kaye stated, "Allegations of political favoritism in fiduciary appointments can jeopardize the public's trust in our court system. Although we cannot prejudge what improprieties have actually occurred, the public must have confidence that the business of the courts is being conducted free of partiality. This new office is an essential component of our efforts to ensure that fiduciary appointments are made on the basis of merit and not on political or other considerations."

Chief Administrative Judge Lippman stated, "With the establishment of the Office of the Special Inspector General, the court system for the first time will have the ability, on an ongoing Statewide basis, to actively monitor compliance with existing rules regulating fiduciary appointments as well as any future regulations that are put in place. I look forward to working with Sherrill Spatz, who brings to this position extensive investigative experience in law enforcement along with a strong background in monitoring compliance with fiduciary regulations."

Ms. Spatz has served for the past five years as Trial Counsel with the Division of Enforcement of the New York Stock Exchange. In that capacity, she has investigated and prosecuted violations of the securities industry's regulatory and fiduciary requirements by brokers, dealers and Exchange members. Prior to that she was for more than a decade with the New York County District Attorney's Office, where she served in the Rackets Bureau overseeing complex investigations concerning organized crime, contract fraud and political and government corruption. Ms. Spatz is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School. A longtime resident of New York City, she currently resides in Bronx County.

Ms. Spatz will officially assume her position on February 14, 2000, but will immediately begin the process of staffing this new office.