A prominent Albany criminal defense lawyer, Michael Koenig, has been retained to represent the disbanded Moreland Commission that is apparently under investigation by the Southern District U.S. Attorney.
Koenig, a partner at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, confirmed that he has been hired by the commission that was established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to root out corruption, and then discarded when the Legislature agreed to adopt ethics reforms.
Last month, Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara criticized the shutdown of the commission and said he would move to complete its “important and unfinished work.” He also said the commission agreed to provide him with investigative files.
Koenig was recently retained to represent the commission, but declined to elaborate on his role.
“I appreciate the Moreland Commission’s trust and confidence and look forward to working with them,” Koenig said in an interview.
Koenig is a former partner in the Albany offices of Greenberg Traurig and also O’Connell and Aronowitz. He also spent three years as a trial attorney in the fraud division of U.S. Department of Justice in Washington. Koenig’s practice largely involves representation of corporate and individual clients in white collar criminal matters.
Cuomo appointed the commission last summer, following through on a threat he had made to the Legislature when it rejected his ethics reform package. He disbanded it after lawmakers agreed to new anti-corruption measures as part of a 2014-15 budget deal.