Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently touted her efforts to “restructure” the agency during her first year in office.
A New Year’s Eve press release provided by Nessel’s office offered some insight into what the Democrat’s priorities were during her first year as the state’s attorney general. For instance, she revealed that her team has worked to strengthen “environmental protections” in the office’s Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Division by “adding two new staff attorneys, including one specifically designated for environmental prosecution.”
Nessel’s office said the attorney general 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,” Nessel said in a statement. “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.”
In her efforts to “realign the department,” Nessel said she has “expanded the work of the Criminal Division” to include four key initiatives, such as “officer-involved shootings.”
She has also hired two new staff attorneys to “assist with civil rights cases” and moved the Hate Crimes, Wrongful Imprisonment, and Conviction Integrity units into the Civil Rights Division.
Attorney General Nessel has joined a number of legal actions against the Trump administration during her first year as the chief’s top law enforcement officer. In February, she joined 15 attorneys general in suing President Donald Trump over his national emergency declaration to build a border wall.
She submitted a letter against the Trump administration’s proposed changes to federal food stamp rules in September and joined a lawsuit against a Trump rule targeting immigrants who seek public benefits.
More recently, Nessel praised a district court for its decision to block a Trump administration rule that would have allowed health care workers to refuse certain services on religious liberty grounds.
In the heat of the impeachment battle, Nessel attacked President Trump during a speech, saying his deflection of the inquiry is “how democracies die.”
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