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New Jersey’s Division of Criminal Justiceis getting an overhaul designed to better outfit it to prosecute organized crime, street gangs and public corruption. This week, Attorney General Stuart Rabner and Criminal Justice Director Gregory Paw announced a restructuring that includes tripling the prosecutors in public corruption to 21 from seven. What used to be 14 small trial units are being consolidated into three: corruption, gangs/organized crime and major white-collar crimes. The last subsumes the units that handled computer crimes, money laundering, labor offenses and environmental crimes. The plan merges 21 personnel units into seven and puts most prosecutions under the watch of two deputy directors, Boris Moczula and Gladys Rodriguez [ see chart]. In the reorganized division: � Moczula will be in charge of three practice sections, devoted to corruption (headed by Deputy Attorney General Lewis Korngut), appeals (by Assistant Attorney General Mark Cronin) and fiscal oversight of the Schools Construction Corporation (by AAG Tracy Thompson). � Rodriguez’s three sections are devoted to gangs and organized crime (headed by DAG John Quelch), major crimes (by DAG Tina Polites) and prosecutor supervision, including the anti-bias-crime unit (by AAG Jessica Oppenheim). � The Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will remain its own section, headed by AAG Greta Gooden-Brown with two deputy chiefs, DAGs Norma Evans and John Smith. � Chief state investigator Paul Morris will continue to oversee all criminal and civil investigators within the division, though his staff will be realigned. The reorganization has been in the works since last April. The division was hit hard by departures last year, and last month, it announced layoffs of three deputy attorneys general, two investigators and 11 administrative workers. Another 21 staff jobs were cut since Gov. Jon Corzine took office, part of his pledge to scale down government. At its biggest in 2001, the division had 183 attorneys. Now it’s down to 152 lawyers and only about 60 of them prosecute cases; the rest are managers, do insurance fraud or handle appeals. In the past eight months, criminal prosecutions sank to their lowest level since 2003. Presentments and indictments dropped to 574 in 2006 from 621 in 2005, though the numbers may not reflect the office’s new commitment to complex investigations into public corruption and gangs. “Those take longer and demand more resources,” says David Wald, a spokesman for Paw and Rabner. Says Rabner, “This reorganization focuses greater resources on our top priorities – public corruption and gangs – and provides greater flexibility to address these complex, labor-intensive cases.” Other staffing decisions announced this week included the naming of DAG Paul Heinzel as deputy chief of the appeals unit (under Cronin); DAGs Debra Conrad and Mark Eliades as deputy chiefs of the gangs and organized crime unit (under Quelch); and DAG Rodger Wolf as deputy chief of the major crimes unit (under Polites).

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