One of the top officials of the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York, Kelly T. Currie, is returning to private practice at Crowell & Moring.
Currie, who started at the firm on Friday, had been chief assistant U.S. attorney in the Brooklyn office, which covers three boroughs of New York City and the two counties of Long Island.
In a 16-month run, he assumed the post as chief assistant in November 2014, briefly took over as acting U.S. attorney in April 2015, and then returned to his post as chief assistant in October.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in a statement, called Currie “a consummate public servant: dedicated, selfless, and fair.” His contributions, Lynch said, have “helped to make our country — and our world — safer and more just.”
Tom Hanusik, chair of the white collar practice group at Crowell, said in a statement that his “skill and talent as both a prosecutor and defense lawyer have earned him an exemplary reputation with judges, state and federal prosecutors, and the defense bar.”
In an interview, Currie said that now was the right time to return to the private sector, and that he’s looking forward to returning to the work of helping to build the firm’s white-collar practice. Previously, Currie worked at Crowell & Moring from 2010 to 2014. Before that he worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York from 1999 to 2010. Before that, he assisted former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine) in the 1996-98 Northern Ireland peace talks.
The upcoming change in presidential administrations didn’t influence his thinking, Currie said. “Who knows what the future holds?” he said when asked about the inevitable change in leadership. Rather, he suggested, it was thoughts like how to pay for his kids’ college tuition down the road that came to mind.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn had a number of important cases during Currie’s 16-month tenure, including investigations of a cyber-crime ring that linked computer hacking to insider trading and the globally watched probe of the world soccer governing body FIFA.
Currie also pointed to the office’s leading work in False Claims Act cases, whether in government contracting, pharmaceuticals or health care.
The FIFA probe is continuing, he noted, adding: “I’ll look forward to seeing how it develops from the other side.”
But unlike many New York lawyers, he’s not a soccer dad – his kids play water polo, he said.