City Hall, NY – Speaker Corey Johnson and Oversight and Investigations Committee Chair Ritchie Torres announced the hiring of Steve Pilnyak as Chief of the new Oversight and Investigations Unit. Pilnyak brings nearly fifteen years of experience in and out of government, including as a prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney’s Office investigating and prosecuting highly sensitive and complex white-collar conduct in the Major Economic Crimes Bureau and as a supervisor of the Financial Intelligence Unit. Speaker Johnson prioritized the creation of the Oversight and Investigations Unit when he was elected Speaker of the Council in January. The Oversight and Investigations Unit will work with Chair Torres and the Committee in conducting in-depth oversight of the Mayor and city agencies as provided in the City Charter. The Council is in the process of fully staffing the Unit with approximately 15-20 employees.

“The New York City Council was designed to be an independent legislative body with strong oversight powers, and the Oversight and Investigations Unit will help the Council fulfill that core function. It is the Council’s charter mandated authority to be an effective check on the Mayor, and we will not hesitate to use that authority whenever necessary. Chair Torres and I look forward to working with Steve to fulfill our responsibility to all New Yorkers to hold those in power accountable,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

“Steve Pilnyak has the background and expertise to lead the new Oversight and Investigations Unit and ensure that it sets a strong and independent tone for this Council session. In the coming weeks, he will be staffing up the Unit with attorneys, investigators and analysts and others with the background to investigate claims of malfeasance, government fraud and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. As Chair of the Oversight and Investigations Committee, I look forward to working with him and the rest of the unit to ensure its success and accountability to New Yorkers,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Investigations.

“I am excited to implement Speaker Johnson’s vision to establish robust and independent oversight and investigations at the City Council. I am confident that under the leadership of Speaker Johnson and in collaboration with Chairman Torres, the Oversight and Investigations Unit will work successfully with stakeholders in and out of government who champion our responsibility to investigate waste, inefficiencies and fraud in the operation of city agencies and those conducting business with the City,” said Steve Pilnyak, the Council’s newly appointed Chief of the Oversight and Investigations Unit.