April 20: Could (and should) you be looking proactively at data to find corruption?: Ethical and Efficient Corruption Detection for Governmental Agencies and Corporations- Red flags for corruption are often lost within the volume, complexity and fragmentation of data. What’s more, resource constraints, outdated systems and a hesitancy to “look under the hood” keep companies and public agencies from mining data to detect key risk indicators. On April 20th, CAPI hosted The Integrity Forum, an initiative of Exiger. We discussed how corporations, financial institutions and public organizations can use data analytics to take reasonable, cost-effective steps that allow for actionable intelligence, turning the sheer volume of data from a liability into an asset.
April 11: Careers in Public Integrity: Using your JD/LLM to Fight Corruption- Interested in public service after law school? Curious about how you can use your degree to fight public corruption? On April 11, CAPI and Social Justice Initiatives hosted a lunchtime talk to hear from attorneys who have dedicated their careers to upholding public integrity.
April 6: Raising the Bar: Ethical Problems and Possible Solutions in District Attorney Campaign Fundraising- The vast majority of district attorneys are ethical and honest public servants, who make their decisions based entirely on appropriate, fact-based, and relevant criteria. But the combination of (a) very high individual donation limits, and (b) the lack of rules or even guidance for when and how district attorneys should avoid situations where campaign donors are involved in cases before the office, has led to the perception that some district attorneys may be operating under conflicts of interest. Community members joined CAPI on April 6th as we explored these ethical issues in DA campaign fundraising, and proposed how to find permanent solutions, with experts in the field. Two Free Ethics and Professionalism CLE credits* were available to non-transitional attorneys.
March 20: A discussion with Brooklyn District Attorney: Eric Gonzalez- Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is the first Latino elected District Attorney in New York State. During DA Gonzalez’s brief tenure so far, he has emerged as a national leader on numerous issues, including: creating and leading the most robust Conviction Review Unit in the nation; changing the office policy on marijuana offenses so that most low-level offenses are no longer charged; working toward bail reform by having ADAs consent to release defendants for most misdemeanor offenses; implementing policies to avoid the disproportionate collateral consequence of deportation for undocumented immigrants by charging non-deportation offenses where possible.
February 6-8: Brazil's Lava Jato Scandal and the Use of American Tools to Bring the Perpetrators to Justice: Join Professor Thiago Bottino, Professor Daniel Richman, and the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity for a three-session discussion of the evolution of the Brazilian justice system, the United States' influence on reforms, and the facts and importance of the "Lava Jato" case.
January 9-11: Financial Investigations Seminar: The Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity and the Department of Justice's Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section co-hosted a three-day Financial Investigations Seminar for local, state, and federal government employees. Participants will learn from top-notch DOJ instructors how to "follow the money."
October 24: Ethics, State Constitutions, and Election Day: What You Should Know About The "Con Con" Vote. November 2017's vote on whether New York will hold a constitutional convention has generated much discussion about what constitutional provisions should be added by delegates if a convention occurs. The Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School and the Hugh Carey Institute for Government Reform have conducted an academic study of ethics-related provisions in the constitutions all 50 states, in an attempt to determine the most effective way to use the New York constitution to curb our state's corruption problem.
October 20: The Battle Against Procurement Fraud: Exploring Innovative Solutions to Vexing Problems: Procurement fraud costs citizens more money than any other kind of corruption – billions of dollars a year worldwide. Advice about how to identify, prevent, and control such fraud is easy to find, but which measures really work? Moreover, procurement processes can be extremely complicated for participating vendors. How should governments balance the need for effective fraud detection with ensuring a process that is efficient and not overly burdensome for applicants?
October 17: Ethical Issues in the Trump Era: A conversation with Walter Shaub, former Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Since even before Inauguration Day, President Trump and others in his administration have been under well-deserved scrutiny for serious conflicts of interest that could negatively impact the public good. Walter Shaub was on the front lines of this battle, attempting in his role as the director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics to hold the President and his appointees to the ethical standards that would ensure that our government officials are working in our interests instead of lining their own pockets – standards that every President in modern history, except this one, have upheld. Join CAPI and SJI as we host a discussion with Mr. Shaub in which he will describe his work, the importance of ethics in government, the failure of the Trump administration to provide a clean and accountable Presidency, and what he and others are doing about it.
October 10: From CLS to Prison: A promising young lawyer's descent into addiction, crime, and disbarment. Leigh Sprague graduated with honors from Columbia Law School in 1999 and embarked on a promising legal career doing international transactional work. Fifteen years later, he started serving a federal prison sentence for stealing millions of dollars from his Russian oligarch client. On October 10, Leigh will share his story: describing his downfall from ethical lawyer to convicted felon, including his analysis of the causes and many mistakes he made along the way. Discussion will be led by Professor Hank Shea of the University of St. Thomas and James B. Rogers Schools of Law, an ethics and white collar expert and former federal prosecutor.
June 8-9: Global Cities II - As the second installment of our signature conference, Global Cities II will bring together anti-corruption leaders from government and civil society worldwide, including delegates from Bogotá, Cape Town, London, Melbourne, Miami, Montreal, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and San Francisco, among others, to discuss important topics such as using data analytics to combat corruption, government transparency, enforcement challenges and victories, and innovations in oversight. 6.5 free CLE credits are available to non-transitional New York State attorneys.
April 19: M/W/DBE Fraud Workshop - The Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (M/W/DBE) programs in place in New York City and New York State are not achieving their laudable goals. Join CAPI for an event featuring relevant stakeholders to explore the deficiencies with the programs as they currently exist and propose possible solutions.
March 10: Improving Organizational Culture: How Public Institutions Can Promote Integrity and Prevent Corruption - What are the red flags of a corrupt organizational culture? How can government agencies promote transparent and accountable workplaces and instill ethical behavior in their employees? CAPI along with industry leaders from the public and private sectors discussed practical lessons for promoting integrity in organizational cultures.
February 7: The Trump Presidency (Part II): Corruption Concerns and Ethical Issues - Together with Boston University Law School Professor Jay Wexler, and Columbia Law School Professor Richard Briffault, the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity continued to explore ethics issues posed in the first few weeks of the Trump Administration.
February 1: The Trump Presidency (Part I): Corruption Concerns and Ethical Issues - Join the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity and Harvard Law School Professor Matthew Stephenson as we attempt to answer these and many more questions: Will President Trump be America's first kleptocrat? Did appointing the President's son-in-law to a White House post violate federal anti-nepotism provisions? Is the President in violation of the Constitution's Emoluments Clause and, if so, what are the available remedies? What impact will Trump and his appointees have on anti-corruption enforcement measures like the FCPA?
November 21: Prosecuting Corruption After McDonnell - Perspectives on the Impact of the Supreme Court Decision - This summer, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell due to faulty jury instructions, finding that “setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event does not, standing alone, qualify as an ‘official act’” to establish quid pro quo corruption under the federal bribery statute. How has this decision redefined the line between politics and corruption? How will it affect ongoing prosecutions, like that of Senator Robert Menendez, and the appeals of recently convicted politicians, like former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver? On November 21, join CAPI for a discussion of the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision on public corruption prosecutions nationwide.
November 2: Careers in Public Integrity - Our second annual career panel will bring prominent anti-corruption practitioners to Columbia Law School to details ways students can use their J.D.s to fight corruption. Non-Pizza lunch will be provided for students!
October 18: Capital Management - Preventing and Avoiding MWBE Construction Fraud - CAPI is co-hosting an event with the Minority Business Development Institute to discuss current challenges in MWBE contracting. This event is by invitation only.
October 11: Fighting Corruption in Sport: The Transparency International Corruption in Sports Initiative - Sport is a multi-billion dollar industry and a recipient of significant public funds. Practiced and enjoyed by billions of people, it is a global symbol of fair play. Corruption, however, poses a major threat to sports competition worldwide. Transparency International’s Corruption in Sport Initiative works to keep sports clean by connecting the sports community to the wider movement against corruption. On October 11, CAPI hosted a discussion about the TI Initiative and how to uphold integrity in sports.
September 13: Fighting Corruption in Sports: The Challenge Posed by Doping - Doping is a significant threat to the integrity of sport worldwide. From homegrown scandals, such as Lance Armstrong's admission to abusing drugs like testosterone, to allegations of systemic cheating in the Russian Olympic program, doping has repeatedly marred the reputations of major sporting events and leagues. On Tuesday, September 13, CAPI hosted a discussion with World Anti-Doping Agency founder Dick Pound and ESPN journalist TJ Quinn about the most recent doping scandals and steps being taken to guard against the practice.
July 20: Fighting Corruption in New York State - On Wednesday, July 20, the Center for the Advancement Public Integrity is hosted a workshop on enhancing anti-corruption efforts in New York at the state and local levels. Participants from DA's offices and other prosecuting authorities around the state addressed the challenges in state and local anti-corruption efforts and how to overcome them. Participants from other integrity enforcement entities shared ways in which their work can aid prosecutorial efforts.
April 12: Criminalizing Politics or Catching Corruption? Two View on Former Virginia Governor McDonnell's Supreme Court Appeal - Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife were recently convicted of federal corruption charges for using the power of the Governor’s office to help a Richmond businessman in exchange for gifts and loans. Now, the Supreme Court is poised to hear McDonnell’s appeal, in a case that could redefine the line between politics and corruption. Were his actions, as McDonnell argues, mere “routine political courtesies” or were they “official acts” traded for personal gain at public expense? The Heritage Foundation’s John Malcolm and Harvard Law School’s Matthew Stephenson debated case’s merits, implications, and likely outcomes at Columbia Law School on April 12th.
April 4: Building Integrity: Preventing and Avoiding MWBE fraud in New York - Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) fraud in government contracting undermines the goals of the program and can cause serious problems—including possibly criminal indictment—for contracting firms. How can city agencies charged with overseeing these contracts ensure that the work being billed as MWBE work is actually being performed by MWBE firms? What efforts are underway in NYC to clamp down on fraud in the MWBE program? Are there enough MWBEs truly qualified to do the jobs, and how can the number of qualified firms be increased? On April 4th, CAPI hosted a panel with industry leaders to discuss strategies in bolstering MWBEs and preventing their abuse.
March 23: The Water Crisis Next Door: Unraveling a Multi-Million Dollar Fraud in Newark - In a still-developing scandal, the leaders of Newark’s now-defunct water agency pilfered at least $2 million in taxpayer funds while crucial waterworks fell into disrepair. Hear how a Columbia professor worked with citizen activists to uncover this fraud, and how a State Comptroller investigation led to criminal convictions in a case that touches on environmental justice, urban poverty, and abuse of power across the river.
February 16: NYPD's New Watchdog: A discussion with Inspector General Philip Eure - On February 16, join CAPI and Social Justice Initiatives for a lunchtime discussion with Philip Eure, the first head of the new Office of the Inspector General of the New York City Police Department.
January 12-14: DOJ AFMLS Financial Investigations Training - A training co-hosted by the DOJ's Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. This seminar teaches participants to apply investigative techniques and methods to unravel money laundering schemes, to identify assets for forfeiture, and to make charging and forfeiture decisions.
November 4: Corruption News Round-Up: Tri-State Edition - Corruption has been front and center in the news this year. Between self-dealing state legislators, a federal investigation into New York’s marquee development project, and ongoing fallout from New Jersey’s “Bridgegate”, there’s certainly no shortage of scandals. Come hear veteran New York Times journalist William Rashbaum and Columbia’s own Professor Richard Briffault discuss the cases, explain the legal arguments, and detail the state of play in the Tri-State.
October 29: Thoughts on Criminal Justice Reform: A Conversation with U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates - Join CAPI for a unique opportunity to ask the nation's second-highest law enforcement official about the state and direction of the American criminal justice system.
October 29: Careers in Public Integrity: Using your JD to Fight Corruption - Interested in public service after law school? Curious about how you can use your degree to fight public corruption? Join CAPI and Social Justice Initiatives for a lunchtime talk to hear from attorneys who have dedicated their careers to upholding public integrity.
September 28: Corruption in Sports - A half-day conference on impropriety in sports. Topics to include match-fixing, doping, and the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal.
September 21: Grand Corruption and Impunity - Chairman of the Board of Transparency International, José Ugaz, visits CAPI. Ugaz will discuss his career fighting corruption, from his successful prosecutions of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and head of Peru's intelligence services Vladimir Montesinos to his work at Transparency International.
August 6: CAPI hosted Chairman of the Investigations Task Force Sweep of Papua New Guinea, Sam Koim, to discuss the role of the New York City Department of Investigation and CAPI in fighting municipal corruption.
June 8: U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program - A delegation of government officials from the Philippines visited CAPI as part of the U.S. Department of State's "Leadership, Accountability, and Reducing Corruption" project.
April 22-25: Global Cities: Joining Forces Against Corruption - Our signature conference, bringing together anti-corruption leaders from government and civil society from cities worldwide.
April 15: The Ins and Outs (and Ups and Downs) of Campaign Finance Reform and Enforcement: Local and National Perspectives - How has the deluge of “independent spending” in elections since the Citizens United case affected the enforcement of campaign finance laws? Who is charged with this enforcement, and how politicized (or not) are these efforts? Join Commissioner Ellen Weintraub of the Federal Election Commission and Executive Director Amy Loprest of the New York City Campaign Finance Board for a fascinating discussion of their roles and those of their agencies in a post-Citizens United world.
April 9: Attorneys General: Lawyering for Whom? - How does the need of elected prosecutors to raise campaign funds affect their independence? What regulatory changes are needed to ensure that our attorneys general faithfully represent the communities they serve? Come learn about the ethical dilemmas facing attorneys general from Douglas Gansler, the former attorney general of Maryland.
March 30: Countering Corruption from the Bar, the Bench, and Beyond - Join CAPI and Social Justice Initiatives for a lunchtime talk with Senior United States District Judge Mark Wolf. Learn about Judge Wolf's career, including his oversight of the hearing into the innapropriate handling of informants, namely "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, by the FBI. Wolf is also the leading advocate for the creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court.
March 30: Roundtable Discussion on the Proposal for an International Anti-Corruption Court - Leaders in the field of public integrity will meet with Senior United States District Court Judge Mark Wolf to discuss his proposal for an International Anti-Corruption Court. (Note: attendance for this event is by invitation only).
March 24: CAPI hosted a delegation of government officials from the Nanjing, China to discuss the role of DOI and CAPI in combatting municipal corruption in New York City.
February 26: Development Aid and the Fight against Transnational Corruption - CAPI and the Columbia Society of International Law will co-host a talk by David Hawkes, head of the Special Litigation Unit at the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency. Learn about the role of Multilateral Development Banks in fighting corruption worldwide.
February 26: The Global Movement against Transnational Corruption - CAPI and the Columbia Society of International Law are co-hosting a panel presentation that will shed light on the global phenomenon of corruption, its impact on development, and the transnational anti-corruption movement that has been evolving over the past years as a response to the pressing challenges.
February 4: Everything You Need to Know: The Sheldon Silver Case - CAPI Executive Director Jennifer Rodgers, Moreland Commission member Richard Briffault, and CLS professor Daniel Richman discussed the corruption allegations against the long-time New York State Assembly Speaker.
January 13-15: DOJ AFMLS Financial Investigations Training - A training co-hosted by the DOJ's Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. This seminar taught participants to apply investigative techniques and methods to unravel money laundering schemes, to identify assets for forfeiture, and to make charging and forfeiture decisions.
December 8: CAPI hosted a delegation of government officials from the Hunan Province in China to discuss the role of DOI and CAPI in combatting municipal corruption in New York City.
November 14: Corruption in the 21st Century - CAPI's fall conference featuring practitioners, civil society reformers, and governmental accountability experts on the front lines of the fight against public corruption.
November 13: Fighting Corruption in the Courtroom: Veteran Prosecutor David Harbach's Path to Taking on Top Politicians - A lunchtime talk with David Harbach, former Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section at the U.S. Department of Justice and current Special Counsel to Director James Comey of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Learn from a top trial attorney how to pursue a legal career in government, conduct a trial in the middle of a media circus, and face down elected officials who abuse their power.
October 16: Cracking Down on Corruption: Lessons from International Experience with Australian National University Professor and Visiting Professor at Columbia University, Adam Graycar.
October 3: Mexico City Delegation Visit
September 17: DOI and CAPI - Hubei Province Delegation Visit
September 11: Maxizimizing Illicit Profits: Understanding How Corrupt Officials Choose How Much to Charge for Bribes: Massachusetts Institute of Technology economics professor Benajmin Olken on the quantitative methods by which leading economists measure the impact of graft and grapple with corrupt officials.
September 4: International Visitor Leadership Program - Transparency and Good Governance
May 30: Busting Graft and Boosting Budgets: How Oversight Authorities Can Expand Their Arsenals through Asset Forfeiture and Other Tools