Cynthia Kouril has extensive background in municipal contracting, investigating and prosecuting public corruption and fraud against the government.
As Assistant General Counsel for Capital Projects for New York City Parks & Recreation, she was responsible for the contract language for every capital project let by the New York City Parks Department.She was also responsible for litigating debarment proceedings against contractors who failed to observe prevailing wage and other contracting regulations, or had committed fraud against the City or which were operated by members of organized crime.The first such litigation was against an alter ego corporation of Arc Plumbing, the notorious “employer” of John Gotti.Ms. Kouril was successful in keeping all Gotti affiliated firms out of Shea Stadium.
Later, Ms. Kouril became counsel to the Inspector General of New York City Department of Environmental Protection, a department with a yearly budget in excess of $2.5 billion dollars.As Chief Legal Advisor to the Inspector General, then Inspector General Kevin J. Ford, Ms. Kouril formulated investigative plans, approved search methods and reduced findings into referral memos and/or indictments for prosecution.
Ms. Kouril was also certified by the United States Attorney General as an expert in government contracting.This certification was part of a finding by the Attorney General that Ms. Kouril possessed a unique skill and experience not found within the Department of Justice and was the rationale for her appointment as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she served under three successive U.S. Attorneys..
At the United States Attorney’s Office, Ms. Kouril investigated and prosecuted cases involving public corruption and fraud against the government, often involving members or associates of organized crime.This included participation in task forces assembled from the FBI, IRS, Postal Inspector and Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of various federal agencies, as well as the State Police and New York City Department of Investigations.A unique focus of Ms. Kouril’s prosecutorial career was her emphasis on restitution to the municipal victim and other victims of the fraud and other criminal enterprises.In this vein, she negotiated sentences involving restitution including U.S. v. Gallucci, and in U.S. v. Gelb which involved over $3 million dollars in restitution.The case of U.S. v. Paccione, which involved $25 million dollars in forfeiture, was also prosecuted to conclusion in a joint effort by the DEP-IG’s Office, the New York City Sanitation Inspector General’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, EPA and other federal agencies.
Ms. Kouril has also been a lecturer at St. John’s University teaching contracts and other business law courses.While in private practice, Ms. Kouril and her partner Robert L. Folks tried and sustained on appeal Kubecka v. State of New York, a suit on behalf of the widows of two civilian informants who broke organized crime’s hold over the carting industry on Long Island.This suit involved proving that the New York State Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) had failed to observe proper standards for the conduct of corruption investigations.The dramatic facts of the case and the obstacles involved in conducting a mob hit murder investigation sans a Grand Jury, resulted in extensive newspaper coverage and programs on 60 Minutes and ABC’s 20/20.Ms. Kouril is often called upon by representatives of the New York Times and Newsday to provide expert opinion about developing news involving public corruption, fraud against the government and organized crime, and has been quoted in the New York Law Journal and America Lawyer Magazine.
A major facet of the firm’s current practice involves representation of government and quasi government bodies.Ms. Kouril successfully argued the Summary Judgment of Cooke v. County of Suffolk, a civil rights suit involving allegations of sexual harassment by a police officer who was raped and stalked by a police deputy inspector.This successful disposition saved Suffolk County from exposure to a $30 million dollar claim.The firm has represented Chambers of Commerce and Business Improvement Districts in addition to other governmental clients.
Ms. Kouril is the author of the policy document outlining the creation of a new Department of Investigations for the County of Nassau.That plan has been adopted and its implementation has begun.Prior to the appointment of the Nassau County Commissioner of Investigations, Ms. Kouril personally conducted two IPSIG assignments for the County of Nassau.The assignments included development of investigative plans, witness interviews, retaining the services of NGH Associates and directing their activities, and finalizing reports of the conclusions of the investigation.One report was forwarded to the FBI by the County.
Ms. Kouril has been a speaker for both the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the Nassau County Bar Association, and is a member of the Program Committee of the Federal Bar Council and a member of the Election Law Committee at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and is a member of the Practices & Procedures Subcommittee of the Internal Association of Independent Private Sector Inspector’s General ("IAIPSIG").