NY U.S. prosecutors' chief media officer joining SAC's PR firm

By Emily Flitter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The top public affairs officer for U.S. federal prosecutors in Manhattan is leaving to join public relations group Sard Verbinnen & Co, which represents many high-profile financial firms, including Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors, according to the firm's co-founder George Sard.

Ellen Davis, who has spent just less than three years as the chief public information officer for prosecutors in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, will leave her position at the end of the month and join Sard in September.

For nearly a decade, Sard partner Jonathan Gasthalter has represented Cohen's $15 billion fund SAC Capital, including during the U.S. government's six-year-long insider trading investigation into the firm.

Gasthalter declined to comment to Reuters.

So far, nine people from SAC have been charged or implicated in insider trading cases brought by prosecutors from the Southern District of New York. The investigation is ongoing.

Davis will not work on any SAC-related issues, according to the firm, to avoid any conflict of interest.

Sard, a 100-person firm, is based in New York and has offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. This is not the first time Sard has hired someone from the government.

(Additional reporting by Nate Raymond; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

(This story was corrected to make clear this is not the first time Sard has hired someone from the government in the seventh paragraph)