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02/10/11 6:38 PM EST

Cuomo named mediator in Mets, Madoff affair

Former New York governor Mario Cuomo on Thursday was appointed by a federal judge to mediate the dispute between the Mets and Irving Picard, the Madoff trustee who is suing the team's owners for $1 billion.

Burton R. Liftland, a bankruptcy judge for the Southern District of New York, said that Cuomo, the father of current New York governor Andrew Cuomo, is a good fit for the job, noting in his decision "special issues presented in the Adversary Proceeding that suggests referral to an appropriately experienced mediator," according to the Daily News.

Cuomo first gained fame in 1972, when he was appointed by then-New York mayor John Lindsay to mediate a dispute over low-income public housing in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, a story he recounted in the book "Forest Hills Diary: The Crisis of Low-Income Housing." Cuomo more recently mediated a decision that was related to Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Bailey, a case that was eventually heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Picard, in a complaint filed in December, seeks recovery of more than $300 million in "false profits" earned by businesses that were owned by Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, both owners of the Mets. Picard's suit seeks another $700 million in principal, charging that the Mets owners should have known that investment schemes run by Madoff were fraudulent.

Sunil Joshi is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.