PLS CENTRAL OFFICE
PLS CENTRAL OFFICE
41 State Street, Suite M112
Albany, NY, 12207
Karen Murtagh, Executive Director. Ms. Murtagh has worked as a staff attorney, managing attorney, Director of Litigation and Deputy Director for PLS. She has provided extensive training to staff and pro bono attorneys on administrative and Article 78 practice and how to litigate excessive force cases in federal court. She also served on the faculty of Albany Law School as an adjunct professor where she established a clinic program for prisoners’ rights and taught Civil Procedure, Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Court of Claims Practice, and Litigation Skills. She conducts an annual training for CUNY law students in the Criminal Defense Clinic, training them on the prison disciplinary process and Article 78 procedure. She has lectured and conducted CLE trainings across the State on prisoners’ rights issues. Ms. Murtagh is the author of “Solitary Confinement in New York State” the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Civil Rights Report to the House of Delegates which resulted in the House of Delegates adopting a resolution urging, among other things, that the imposition of long-term solitary confinement on persons in custody beyond 15 days be proscribed. Under her leadership, PLS was awarded the 2014 Denison Ray Non-Profit Organization Award which recognized PLS’ extraordinary commitment to strengthening access to justice initiatives, delivering the provision of civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients, increasing the provision of pro bono services and marshaling resources to maximize services to the community. Ms. Murtagh is a member of the New York State Bar Association and sits on the NYS Bar Association’s Civil Rights Committee. She is also an advisor to the NYS Bar Association’s Immigration Committee. In 2017, Ms. Murtagh was presented with the Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Correctional Services award from the Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association.
Hector Nayo, Controller. Mr. Hector Nayo is a Cerified Public Accountant and began working as the Financial Controller at Prisoners' Legal Services of New York (PLS) in December 2006. He is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana and Emile Woolf College of Accountancy, London, England. Prior to working with PLS, he worked as a Senior Auditor/Accountant with the audit firm of Ciaschi, Dietershagen, Little & Mickelson & Co., LLP, Ithaca, NY, USA..
John Amodeo,PLS Pro Bono Coordinator and Staff Attorney. Prior to joining PLS, John spent seven years as Deputy Counsel at the NYS Office of the Attorney General where, among other duties, he served as Legislative Counsel to the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption and OAG’s interim Chief Ethics Officer, and sought the unsealing in State Supreme Court of the 1975 “Meyer Report” on the Attica uprising and retaking. Prior to joining OAG, he served as Chief Counsel to the NYS Senate Committee on Codes where, in 2009, he helped to draft and negotiate to passage major reforms to the State’s Rockefeller Drug Laws. In 2007 and 2008, John was Counsel to the Governor’s Commission on Sentencing Reform, and prior to that served as Assistant Deputy Counsel for Criminal Justice for the NYS Office of Court Administration. During his tenure with OCA, John was Counsel to the Chief Administrative Judge’s Advisory Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure, Co-Counsel to the Chief Judge’s Commission on the Future of Indigent Defense Services and Co-Counsel to the Chief Judge's Task Force on the Future of Probation in NYS. Prior to joining OCA, he served for four years as Associate Counsel to the NYS Assembly Committee on Codes. From 1988 to 1993, he served as a Law Secretary in NYC Criminal Court and the Special Narcotics Part of State Supreme Court. John began his legal career as an intern with Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services in Boston and as a Staff Attorney with the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan. He is a graduate of the New England School of Law in Boston.
Patricia Kane, Executive Administartive Assistant. Patti has been with PLS as the Executive Administrative Assistant since November 2009, prior to joining PLS she was the Office Manager in the printing field for 15 years. In her free time she is active in many local community groups and has sat on committees with the developmentally disabled, Cystic Fibrosis, and a local Cancer Research Treatment Center.