NJ Attorney General Starts Office to Investigate CorruptionTop Stories

September 12, 2018 06:02
NJ Attorney General Starts Office to Investigate Corruption

(Image source from: Indiawest.com)

New Jersey attorney general Gurbir Grewal on Monday said he is setting up an office to fight corruption and build faith in government.

The new Office of Public Integrity and Accountability will be led by Thomas Eicher, a longtime federal prosecutor who will report directly to Grewal as the office investigates an assortment of crimes.

The office, among the areas, will focus on allegations of wrongful convictions, civil rights violations, and likewise "sensitive matters" for federal, state and local officials, according to Grewal, whom Democratic Governor Phil Murphy appointed this year.

Eicher has served in the United States Attorney's office in New Jersey going back to 2003, including tasks as the chief of the criminal division from 2010 to 2018.

The new office stemmed from concerns he has heard from residents. He says they want law enforcement to "root out the corruption and misconduct" that hurts faith in public institutions, Grewal said.

"Simply put, we must hold accountable those who violate the public trust or undermine the criminal justice system," he said.

Grewal further said the new office will include prosecutors as well as criminal investigators from New Jersey State Police, and to ensure the independence of sensitive investigations, the new office will report directly to the attorney general. Those investigations would typically fall under the Division of Criminal Justice's chain of command.

Eicher said he was honored for the chance to work for the public and added that "democracy cannot function unless it has the confidence of all the people it serves."

"I am committed to working with Attorney General Grewal to strengthen that confidence," he said.

It is the latest development out of the office of New Jersey's top law enforcement officer.

Grewal, who is the nation's first Sikh attorney general has quickly become one of the highest profile members of Murphy's administration.

He announced recently the state would begin seeking natural resources damages in cases of polluted sites across the state.

In addition to cases that liberals cheer, Grewal earlier this week as well proclaimed a criminal investigation into the state's Catholic Church spurred by a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that concluded over 1,000 children were victims to sexual abuse by over 300 priests since the 1940s.

By Sowmya Sangam

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