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AG Staff Recognized by the National Association of Attorneys General
December 06, 2023
LANSING – Two members of the Michigan Attorney General’s office have received national accolades for their professional contributions and exceptional service to their colleagues and communities by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.
On Tuesday, Chief of the Criminal Justice Bureau Danielle Hagaman-Clark and Assistant Attorney General George Elworth were honored for their achievements and their hard work and commitment over the years in serving the people and communities of Michigan.
Hagaman-Clark is this year’s recipient of the National Senior Staff of the Year Award. She joined the Department in 2019 after working as the Director of the Violence Against Women Project at the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. Before that, she spent 15 years at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office in Detroit, where she was a lead homicide prosecutor and a founding member and managing director of that office’s Sexual Assault Team, as well as a member of the Child Abuse and Special Investigations units.
Since joining the Department, Hagaman-Clark has personally handled many complex and high-profile homicide and sexual assault cases. In May 2021, she was appointed chief of the Criminal Trials and Appeals (CTA) Division, which has grown during her tenure to become the largest division in the Michigan Department of Attorney General. Hagaman-Clark has now served as the Criminal Justice Bureau Chief since September of 2023, where she oversees four divisions: CTA, Criminal Investigations, Financial Crimes, and Health Care Fraud, as well as the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council. In addition to her leadership role, she has personally tried some of the Department’s most difficult and important criminal prosecutions, including cold-case murders and sexual assaults, and has assisted local prosecutors across the state. Hagaman-Clark is leading the Department’s large-scale investigations into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and within the Boy Scouts of America. Under her leadership, the clergy abuse investigation has so far yielded charges against 11 defendants, and convictions against nine -- seven by plea and two that were personally tried by Hagaman-Clark herself.
“Danielle is not only the leader of the Department’s largest bureau, but also one of its active attorneys, fighting in the trenches alongside her staff to personally prosecute some of the toughest cases we have,” Nessel said. “As a mentor, as a passionate and ethical advocate for the People of the State of Michigan, and as a compassionate fighter for crime victims, Danielle exemplifies all that is best in an attorney-manager and a public servant.”
In recognition of 49 years of public service at the Michigan Department of Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General George Elworth received the National Attorney General Career Staff Award.
A graduate of Stanford University and the University of Michigan Law School, Elworth began his long career with the Department in 1974 following four years as an associate at Lord, Bissell, and Brook in Chicago and a year with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society as the recipient of a Reginald Heber Smith Legal Services Fellowship. He was a lieutenant on active duty in the U.S. Army Reserve (Quartermaster Corps) from 1964 to 1966 and was assigned to Army bases in South Korea and Colorado Springs, CO.
During his career at the Department of Attorney General, Elworth has worked in multiple divisions, including Military Affairs, Finance, and currently, the State Operations Division, where his main area of expertise is municipal affairs. Elworth has an impact on communities across the state through his work, which includes reviewing proposed city and village charters, charter amendments and revisions, and the ballot language for such proposals. He also sits on the Attorney General’s Opinion Review Board, where his knowledge of local government has been invaluable to questions as wide-ranging as the incompatibility of office and the constitutionality of local smoking-ban ordinances.
“George’s counsel and insights have consistently been sought after, and he is widely regarded as a trusted voice and influential figure in the world of Michigan government and municipal law,” said Nessel in the closing of his nomination letter. “George’s indelible imprint can be found etched in state legislation and in municipal ordinances and charters that shape the state of Michigan and its local units, a testament to his enduring impact on the legal landscape of the region.”
The awards were presented at NAAG’s Capital Forum in Washington DC on December 5th, 2023. NAAG recognizes attorneys general, attorney general staff, and NAAG staff each year. More information about the awards and past recipients can be found on the NAAG site.