April 5, 2002 at 12:44 AM EST - Updated July 27 at 6:59 PM
CLEVELAND (AP) - Mayor Jane Campbell (pictured, right) appointed a federal prosecutor who specialized in white-collar crime to be city law director.
Subodh Chandra, 36, who specialized in prosecuting health care fraud as an assistant U.S. attorney, will join Campbell's cabinet next month.
"Not only does he have a strong legal background, he also has a thorough understanding of the political landscape," Campbell said in announcing the appointment Thursday.
Chandra, a Yale Law School graduate, will oversee about 75 city lawyers in a department that was used less in the final term of Mayor Michael R. White in favor of outside law firms. White spent as much as $7 million a year on private firms.
Chandra worked for former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, former Gov. David Walters in his native Oklahoma and former Ohio Gov. Richard Celeste.
Chandra said one of the biggest challenges would be increasing pay for newly hired city attorneys.
New lawyers at top city firms are paid at least $90,000 a year, but new hires at the law department get less than $40,000. Chandra said he wants to raise it to $45,000 to $50,000.
He became a federal prosecutor two years ago and previously specialized in business law at a Cleveland law firm.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)