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Dean’s Speakers Series
With that experience, Mastro joined the U.S. Attorney’s office, where he met Guiliani, then the U.S. Attorney. Together they brought a string of groundbreaking prosecutions against the Teamsters Union. Mastro and Guiliani effectively cleaned house, forcing most top officials to resign. After joining Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, where Mastro worked on cases involving Presidents Nixon and Reagan, he reconnected with Guiliani.
In 1993 Guiliani ran for mayor of New York and asked Mastro to serve as a campaign advisor. When Guiliani won, Mastro joined his administration – and together they cleaned up New York City. They reduced crime by sixty percent, murder by seventy percent, and cut the welfare rolls by more than half. The administration also revamped Times Square, removed prostitution, strip joints and drugs from the streets, and routed the mob from Fulton Fish Market, for which Mastro and his family received death threats.
After his government service, Mastro returned to private practice, representing families of New York firefighters who perished in the World Trade Center attacks. Families sued to recover $70 million in donations held by the Firefighters Union. Mastro won the case. Mastro stressed to students that you don’t have to be in government to do public service work. You can do it in private practice as well.
Mastro said he credits Penn Law’s rigorous training for his success. His interest in litigation and how he could use it to shape public policy, plus the “strength of advocacy,” and “courage of convictions” he gained at Penn made him what he is today, he said.
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