ALBANY, N.Y. November 29, 2010 - Richard E. Casagrande of Guilderland has been named general counsel to New York State United Teachers. Casagrande initially joined NYSUT in 1975 as an associate counsel, later moving on to establish and build the New York State Public Employees Federation's in-house legal department in 1984. He returned to NYSUT in 2004 as an associate general counsel. Casagrande replaces James R. Sandner, who retired on Nov. 26.
"Richard is a terrific addition to the NYSUT leadership team," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. "He has a wealth of legal experience and brings many years of union knowledge to the table. He has demonstrated a willingness to use the legal system as an arena for advocacy on behalf of labor, and I look forward to his carrying that forward as general counsel."
Casagrande holds a law degree from Albany Law School of Union University and an undergraduate degree in American history from Colgate University. Prior to returning to NYSUT, Casagrande was a principal with Hinman, Straub, P.C. in Albany, NY. At PEF, he served as executive director and general counsel.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.