John Siegal
John Siegal ()

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday appointed John Siegal, a Baker & Hostetler partner, to serve as a board member of New York City’s police watchdog agency.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board is an independent agency that investigates and recommends action on misconduct complaints against police officers. The New York City Police Department has the final say on whether discipline is imposed.

In a statement on Siegal’s appointment, de Blasio praised his “years of private practice and helping clients navigate the litigation process, as well as his commitment to public service.”

Siegal primarily represents financial services, media and real estate industry clients in business disputes and matters involving public agencies. From 2009 to 2014 he was litigation group coordinator for Baker & Hostetler’s New York practice.

Siegal, who served as chief speechwriter to Mayor David Dinkins a quarter century ago, met de Blasio in 1989 when both were on Dinkins’ campaign staff. Later he represented de Blasio as a public advocate during appellate review of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices.

In a statement, Siegal said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve “as a fact-finder helping to fairly and judiciously hear and determine civilian complaints to strengthen the NYPD and its relationship” with communities.

The mayor has made four appointments to the board this year, including Siegal and Maya Wiley, who is chair of the agency and previously served as counsel to de Blasio.

The board’s former chair, Richard Emery, a partner at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, resigned in April, right after being sued by its current executive director, Mina Malik, who claimed Emery used derogatory language toward women.