John D. Feerick, J.D., the Norris Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, was appointed chairman of the State Ethics Commission by Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David Paterson in Albany on April 16. The post was recently vacated by Paul Schechtman.
“Dean Feerick has devoted his career to promoting greater public trust in government,” said Spitzer. “The distinguished professional background and personal credibility he brings to the State Ethics Commission will help ensure that our public officials and employees maintain the highest ethical standards, which are central to an open and accountable state government. I thank Paul Schechtman for his years of service and his dedication to making state government more accountable.”
Under the Public Employee Ethics Reform Act of 2007 passed earlier this year, the State Ethics Commission and the Temporary State Commission on Lobbying are scheduled to be merged into a single Commission on Public Integrity in September. Spitzer also announced his intention to name Feerick to serve as chairman of the combined entity as well.
Feerick has a distinguished record as a public servant, attorney and educator, having served as dean of Fordham Law School from 1982 to 2002, and currently as founding director of the Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice and Dispute Resolution.
Since 2003 Feerick has chaired the New York State Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections, and he previously served as a court-appointed Judicial Referee in the case of Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. New York State. From 1987 to 1990, while serving as Special Deputy New York State Attorney General, Feerick chaired the New York State Commission on Government Integrity that led to the adoption of the 1987 Ethics in Government Act.
Feerick was a member of the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom from 1961 to 1982. He also participated in the formulation, adoption and implementation of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which relates to presidential succession and was ratified in 1967.
Feerick has been recognized for his extensive work in the field of ethics reform. He has been the recipient of honors and recognitions from various groups, including Common Cause, The League of Women Voters, and the New York Lawyers for Public Interest. He has received the highest awards from the New York State Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the New York County Lawyers’ Association for his contributions to the legal profession.
As chairman of the State Ethics Commission, Dean Feerick will not receive a salary.