NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A former top prosecutor in Manhattan has been appointed as the independent federal monitor for General Motors following its agreement last month to pay $900 million to end a U.S. criminal probe over a lethal defect in the company's ignition switches.
Bart Schwartz, the former chief of the criminal division in the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, will review policies and practices at GM, including the adequacy of the automaker's procedures for addressing safety defects.
The appointment was disclosed on Thursday on the website of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office investigated GM.
Schwartz is chairman of Guidepost Solutions, a New York company that provides monitoring, compliance, and risk management services. He has served as a monitor or compliance adviser for other companies, including BP and Deutsche Bank.
“We welcome Bart Schwartz and his insights," GM General Counsel Craig Glidden said in a statement, "and we pledge our full cooperation and the same transparency and candor that has guided our response to the ignition switch recall.”
GM said Schwartz is expected to maintain an office at the company and work closely with Jeffrey A. Taylor, who is joining the automaker on Nov. 1 as deputy general counsel for federal oversight.
Ignition switches on Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other GM vehicles could cause their engines to stall, which in turn prevented airbags from deploying during crashes. The defect has been linked to 124 deaths.