A longtime government lawyer and prosecutor has been tapped by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to lead his Buffalo regional office.
Russ Ippolito, a former lawyer in the Erie County attorney's office who represented the county in the landmark tobacco settlement case in the 1990s, will take over the largest regional field office for the new attorney general.
"I am pleased to appoint a veteran prosecutor like Russ to this important post," Cuomo said in a written statement.
Ippolito, who will oversee a staff of more than 80 employees, including about 20 attorneys, for the past seven years has been an assistant attorney general in the agency's criminal prosecution division.
Ippolito began his law career in 1990 in the Erie County district attorney's office. He moved to the Erie County attorney's office in 1997 under former County Executive Dennis T. Gorski; Ippolito ran the county's Litigation Bureau, which handled the county's litigation in the master settlement agreement with the nation's biggest tobacco manufacturers.
Ippolito said his Buffalo office will focus on a number of Cuomo initiatives, including the probe under way of colleges and lenders over conflicts of interest in the student loan business and helping the Erie County district attorney with unsolved homicides.