Justice Biben
Justice Biben (AP/Mike Groll)

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore has chosen acting state Supreme Court Justice Ellen Biben to be the administrative judge for the criminal term of New York County Supreme Court.

The appointment, announced Monday, is effective immediately.

Biben replaced former administrative judge Michael Obus, also an Acting Supreme Court Justice, who had overseen the courts that handle Manhattan felonies for eight years. Obus did not have his one-year appointment renewed due to “philosophical differences” with the Office of Court Administration but will remain on the bench (NYLJ, Dec. 29, 2016).

Chief Administrative Judge Marks in a statement Monday praised Biben for “her fairness, integrity, legal acumen and dedication to public service. She has distinguished herself as an energetic leader who thrives on new challenges.”

Biben, 50, was appointed to the Court of Claims by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2015 and was later designated an acting justice in Manhattan’s Criminal Term.

Before taking the bench, Biben was executive director of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics and had served as state inspector general. She was special deputy attorney general for public integrity from 2007 to 2010, supervising public fraud and corruption investigations.

She previously worked as a Manhattan assistant district attorney for more than 10 years, the last five years as deputy chief of the rackets bureau.

Earlier in her career, Biben, a graduate of the University of Southern California Law Center, was a litigation associate with Sullivan & Cromwell.