TRENTON – Director Gregory A. Paw will be leaving for private law practice after leading the Division of Criminal Justice for more than two years, Attorney General Anne Milgram announced today. Paw oversaw a major reorganization of the division that strengthened its prosecutions of public corruption and violent street gangs.
Paw will become a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP, a multi-practice law firm with more than 500 lawyers in seven states and the District of Columbia. He will handle white collar crime in the firm’s Princeton and Philadelphia offices. His final day as director is June 20.
“Greg was the right person at the right time to reorganize the Division of Criminal Justice and re-energize its efforts to target corruption and gangs,” said Attorney General Milgram. “He served the state with a level of talent, experience and enthusiasm that will be hard to replace. On a personal level, I will miss his friendship and good counsel each day.”
“Leading the Division of Criminal Justice has been an honor and privilege,” said Director Paw. “Our people have produced strong cases, and helped to make New Jersey a safer and better place for all. Our focus on making government more responsive and accountable to the people brings me particular pride. I look forward to my new challenge, but will miss the great mission of state law enforcement.”
The Division of Criminal Justice is responsible for enforcement of the state’s criminal laws and is the main link between the department and New Jersey’s law enforcement community.
Director Paw joined the division as director in February 2006. His tenure has been marked by substantial increases in the number of cases charged and a stronger focus on the two most serious criminal threats facing the state: public corruption and gangs. The Division of Criminal Justice was reorganized at the close of 2006 to direct greater resources to both of those areas.
In 2007, the division charged 660 cases – an 11 percent increase over the prior year – including more than 50 public officials. In 2008, the division is on a record pace, having charged 410 cases by the end of May. The division’s corruption prosecutions have reached all levels of government, including cases against elected officials, police officers, municipal judges, school leaders, municipal executives and others entrusted with operating government programs.
Under Director Paw, the division has forged strong partnerships with federal law enforcement, such as its work convicting former state senator and Newark mayor Sharpe James and, most recently, former state assemblyman and Orange mayor Mims Hackett. Just last week the division charged former Irvington mayor Michael Steele with taking more than $120,000 in illegal kickbacks as business administrator for the Irvington school district.
During the past two years, the division has brought murder and racketeering cases against some of the most violent gangs operating in New Jersey. In 2007 alone, the division – in partnership with the State Police and other law enforcement agencies – arrested more than 175 defendants, and filed charges against another 56. Indictments were brought against 34 members of the Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods, including the set’s three top leaders in New Jersey, and 46 members of the Nine Trey set of the Bloods, including its top leaders. In December, the division arrested 32 people in an investigation that uncovered a multi-billion dollar gambling operation run by the Lucchese New York crime family, as well as an alarming alliance between the mafia and the Bloods street gang to smuggle drugs and cell phones into a state prison.
Paw, 44, previously was the Deputy U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He served for eleven months from May 2004 through March 2005 as deputy chief counsel of the regime crimes liaison office in Baghdad, which counseled the new Iraqi government in preparing the war crime cases against Saddam Hussein and other high-ranking members of the former Iraqi regime. He supervised a team of American lawyers and investigators, receiving a special commendation from the U.S. Attorney General for his work.
As a federal prosecutor for more than 10 years, he prosecuted numerous narcotics and corruption cases. He led the case against the former majority leader of the Pennsylvania State Senate, who was accused of concealing a business relationship with a firm while sponsoring legislation to help the business.
Paw graduated from the University of Illinois in 1985 and received his law degree from the College of William and Mary in 1988. He clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Walter E. Hoffman in Norfolk, Virginia before joining the Washington, D.C. law firm of Baker and Hostetler in 1989. He joined the criminal division of the Justice Department in 1995 and one year later moved to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia, handling cases involving money laundering, narcotics, and espionage.
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