Department of Investigation311Search all websites

Margaret Garnett


photo of Commissioner Margaret Garnett

Commissioner Garnett was nominated by Mayor Bill de Blasio in November 2018 and confirmed by City Council the same month. She took office on December 10, 2018, and leads one of the oldest municipal anti-corruption agencies in the country, rooting out corruption, wrongdoing, negligence, and abuse from New York City; furthering integrity; and upholding New Yorkers’ confidence in government.

Under her tenure, DOI has been strengthened and restructured to enhance its preeminence as a law enforcement agency focused on anti-corruption investigations and improving City government. Several of the investigations over the past year have led to an array of arrests that have stopped fraud and misconduct in affordable housing, construction, and inappropriate visitor searches at the City's jails. She has taken significant steps to tackle the massive backlog of background investigations at the agency, successfully closing more than 1,000 of these pending matters in just six months. And, she has fostered collaborative relationships with DOI's law enforcement partners and fellow City agencies.

Prior to DOI, Commissioner Garnett served as Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice in the Office of the New York State Attorney General, where she supervised more than 150 prosecutors and 130 criminal investigators while advising the Attorney General on criminal justice policy. Prior to her time with the New York State Attorney General, Commissioner Garnett spent 12 years as a federal prosecutor in the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where she was responsible for prosecuting gang violence, racketeering, organized crime, violent crime, financial crimes, and tax fraud.

At the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she served as Chief of Appeals and Chief of the Violent and Organized Crime Unit, among other roles. She tried fifteen criminal cases to verdict, including the then-largest tax fraud case in US history. In 2011, Commissioner Garnett received the Director’s Award for Outstanding Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney, the second-highest award in the Department of Justice. In 2016, Ms. Garnett received the Stimson Medal, given annually by the Association for the Bar of the City of New York to one exceptional Assistant United States Attorney from each division of the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Commissioner Garnett was previously an associate at Watchell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; has served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University Law School and Brooklyn Law School; and clerked for the Honorable Gerard E. Lynch in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

She received her B.A. at the University of Notre Dame, her M.A. from Yale University, and her J.D. from Columbia University. Commissioner Garnett lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their twins.