Attorney General Dana Nessel has announced structural changes to the department, which she hopes will strengthen important functions, and emphasize consumer protections, education, and safety. Additionally, she believes the changes will ensure that key investigations and initiatives are appropriately staffed to succeed.
The structural changes include:
- 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 and Conviction Integrity – into the division.
- Expanded the department’s communications division – now called the Office of Public Information and 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, and 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 Upper Peninsula and to help reduce costs associated with travel to the northern parts of the state.
- Opened the Flint Office.
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