New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Tuesday announced the appointment of new top law enforcement officials.
Michelle Miller will become Division of Law director, Veronica Allende will become director of the Division of Criminal Justice, according to Grewal, who also announced Gov. Phil Murphy’s anticipated nomination of Tracy Thompson to head the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, a position that requires the consent of the state Senate.
All three are career public servants, Grewal noted in a release.
“The heart and soul of this department are the career officials who have spent their professional lives in public service. Today, we’re moving three of them into key leadership positions,” Grewal said in the release.
Miller, acting director of the Division of Law since her July 2015 appointment, is to become permanent in that position. She joined the division in 1995 as a deputy attorney general. She received her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law, and her bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Allende returns to the Division of Criminal Justice after a year and half at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, where she served as an assistant U.S. attorney. From 2007 to 2016, Allende served as a deputy attorney general within the division. Among other responsibilities, Allende served as a member of the attorney general’s shooting response team, where she investigated officer-involved shootings. In 2015, Allende was promoted to deputy bureau chief of the Financial and Computer Crimes Bureau, overseeing the Computer Crimes Unit, which investigates and prosecutes child pornography and other computer-related criminal activity. Allende previously practiced land use and commercial real estate law with Woodbridge’s Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer.
The current director of the Division of Criminal Justice, Elie Honig, is “leaving [the department] for a new role,” Grewal said in the statement, but didn’t elaborate. He noted that Honig will remain in his position temporarily to “allow for a smooth transition.”
Honig, director of the division since 2013, could not be reached for comment.
Thompson has spent 25 years as a prosecutor, first with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and later with the Attorney General’s Office. In 2017, Thompson was appointed as counsel to the director of the Division of Criminal Justice. She will begin serving as the acting insurance fraud prosecutor effective March 26, according to the release. Thompson will replace, Christopher Iu, whose future plans also were not immediately clear. He, too, could not be reached for comment.