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AG Nessel Announces Department Restructuring
December 31, 2019
LANSING – As her first year in office comes to a close, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has realigned the department to strengthen important functions, emphasizing consumer protection, education and safety along with ensuring that key investigations and initiatives are appropriately staffed to succeed.
“This first year in office has given me an opportunity to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Department in terms of staff assignments and priorities,” said Nessel. “I continue to be deeply impressed by the quality and commitment of the attorneys in this department and hope to always be in a position to give them the resources they need to continue to be outstanding attorneys for the people of Michigan.”
Nessel has taken the following actions to realign the department as outlined below:
- Re-assigned four criminal attorneys to focus solely on elder abuse investigations and prosecutions.
- Established a Public Administrator Division, led by a full-time Public Administrator (the previous PA was a part-time position), Kathryn Barron.
- Strengthened and expanded the Civil Rights Division by adding two additional attorneys to assist with civil rights cases and moving three key units – Hate Crimes, Wrongful Imprisonment (WICA) and Conviction Integrity – into the division.
- Expanded the department’s communications division – now called the Office of Public Information & Education – to include and strengthen consumer education, outreach and publication, along with OK2SAY, Michigan’s student safety initiative.
- Bolstered the enforcement components in Corporate Oversight Division by including consumer protection intake and charitable trust.
- Expanded the Corporate Oversight Division with additional positions to focus on Identity Theft and Michigan’s Robocall Initiative.
- Strengthened Child & Youth Services by including additional staff attorneys.
- Expanded the work of the Criminal Division to include four key initiatives: 1) Public Integrity cases; 2) In-custody Deaths; (3) Officer-involved Shootings; and 4) Cold Case Murders.
- Hired a full-time victim advocate for the Clergy Abuse Investigation Team.
- Expanded and strengthened the Flint Criminal Prosecution team, which now includes several career prosecutors, investigators, and two victim advocates.
- Strengthened environmental protections in the Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division by adding two new staff attorneys, including one specifically designated for environmental prosecution.
- Hiring a full-time attorney in the Marquette Office to better serve the needs of the residents in the UP and to help reduce costs associated with travel to the northern parts of the state.
- Opened the Flint Office.