- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A hospital executive, a former city official and a corporate lawyer have been appointed to the New York City board charged with overseeing the jail system.

The civilian oversight board, one of just a handful like it across the country, holds public meetings, has a $1 million budget and employs a staff of 20, including jail investigators who inspect conditions on Rikers Island. It had been criticized for lacking any minorities and experts in mental health. Two of the three appointees are black and one spent his career in health care.

- Dr. Steven Safyer, who was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, heads Montefiore Health System, which is made up of eight hospitals across the Bronx and Westchester County. In the 1980s, Montefiore ran health services at Rikers Island.

- Jennifer Jones Austin, a former deputy commissioner for the Administration for Children’s Services who now runs a social policy group, was appointed by state judges.

- Derrick Cephas, also appointed by state judges, is a partner at the international law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, where he represents commercial banks and other institutions on regulatory matters.

Cephas and Jones Austin will be the board’s first two black members. Safyer is white. They are to serve six-year terms.


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