Attorney General Names New Chief Deputy and State Prosecutor for Delaware Department of Justice



Attorney General Matt Denn announced that Deputy Attorney General LaKresha Roberts has been named the next Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Delaware, and Deputy Attorney General Sean P. Lugg will become the new State Prosecutor.

Roberts is currently the Director of the Department of Justice’s Family Division, where she has served as a member of the Attorney General’s leadership team for the past year. She has worked her entire career as practicing attorney at the Department of Justice. As Chief Deputy Attorney General, Roberts will be the second-ranking official in the Delaware Department of Justice.

A graduate of the University of Delaware and Villanova University School of Law, Lugg has been with the Department of Justice since 1996. He currently serves in the Appeals Unit where he represents the State in appeals before all Delaware Courts. Prior to this assignment, Lugg worked as Delaware’s first Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor and served as a supervisor and trial prosecutor in virtually every unit in the Criminal Division. Lugg has also represented the Department of Justice numerous times before the Delaware General Assembly.

“I’m proud to enhance our leadership team by moving LaKresha and Sean into these new roles,” said Attorney General Matt Denn. “I have been incredibly impressed with LaKresha’s performance as a manager, attorney, and representative of the department since I began working directly with her, and am confident she will be a terrific Chief Deputy. Sean has 20-plus years of experience in the Department, and working with our three excellent County Attorneys, I am confident that Sean will provide great leadership for the Criminal Division.”

Roberts takes over as Chief Deputy on January 9, 2017, when current Chief Deputy Danielle Gibbs goes to work for newly elected Governor John Carney as his Chief Legal Counsel. “I want to thank Danielle for the stellar work she did as Chief Deputy over the last two years,” Denn said. “Her extraordinary legal skills, patience, and sound judgment have been a great benefit to DOJ.”

Lugg assumes his new role as State Prosecutor on December 19, 2016, replacing Kathy Jennings, who leaves for a position as Chief Administrative Officer for New Castle County. “The Department of Justice is very grateful to Kathy for her service as State Prosecutor for the past five years, and we wish her good luck in her new position,” Denn said.

Department of Justice creates new Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust

New Attorney General Seeks to Improve Office’s Focus In Critical Areas


Attorney General Matt Denn announced today that the Department of Justice would be restructured to create a new Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust.   The office will be responsible for protecting individual rights and liberties of Delawareans, enforcement of laws designed to ensure citizen trust in government, and conducting investigations where the Department of Justice’s other responsibilities might present the appearance of a conflict of interest.


Denn has appointed Allison Reardon, one of the most senior attorneys in the Department of Justice, to head the new office.  Reardon most recently served as State Solicitor, the highest ranking civil attorney in the Department of Justice.  Reardon will report directly to the Chief Deputy Attorney General.


“This new office will create a focus for the office on civil rights and citizen trust in government,” Denn said.  “It will provide the legal firepower to ensure that these important areas are addressed, and will provide citizens with a point of contact in the office when they believe that there are civil rights or public trust issues that must be addressed.”


“I am very pleased that Allison Reardon will be heading this new effort.  It is important that the person in charge of this effort be a skilled attorney, have sound judgment, and have my confidence.  Allison is one of the most respected attorneys in the Department of Justice, and is the perfect person to head up this effort.”


The responsibilities of the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust will include:


  1. Enforcement of Delaware laws protecting the individual rights and liberties of Delawareans, including but not limited to rights secured by the Delaware and United States constitutions, Delaware’s public accommodations laws, housing discrimination laws, employment discrimination laws, and laws protecting the educational rights of children and the rights of Delawareans with disabilities.


  1. Enforcement of laws designed to ensure citizen trust in government, including election laws, laws governing the use of public funds, and laws governing the conduct of public employees and officials.  In these areas, the office will work collaboratively with the Elections Commissioner, Public Integrity Commission, and State Auditor.


  1. Investigations where the Department of Justice’s other responsibilities might present the appearance of a conflict, such as investigations of use of force by law enforcement officers and investigations of deaths or near-deaths of children under state supervision.



Meredith Stewart Tweedie, who previously served as the head of the health law unit for the Department of Justice, has been selected to take over Ms. Reardon’s role as State Solicitor.  Attorney General Denn also announced today that State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings, Consumer Fraud Director Matt Lintner, and Family Division Director Patricia Dailey Lewis would remain in their current positions.


Danielle Gibbs, currently a partner at Young Conaway Stargatt and Taylor will serve as Chief Deputy Attorney General. Gregory Patterson, a former aide to Gov. Jack Markell and to Denn as insurance commissioner, will serve as Chief of Staff and Emily Cunningham, who headed Denn’s lieutenant governor staff, will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Department of Justice.


Biden seeks federal court order to stop Army Corps of Engineers from dredging

Attorney General Joseph R. Biden, III filed a complaint for injunctive
and declaratory relief to order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) to comply with Delaware law prior to dredging in Delaware waters. The Attorney General’s lawsuit requests that the United States District Court for the District of Delaware declare that the Corps’ decision to deepen Delaware waters violates state and federal law and issue a preliminary injunction to halt
the Corps’ dredging activities until the Corps obtains the required Delaware permits.

“The decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to begin deepening Delaware waters is a direct challenge to the territorial authority of the State of Delaware and violates federal and state law,” Attorney General Biden stated. “We will aggressively enforce our right to regulate and control any activity conducted on the Delaware River within Delaware’s boundaries. Instead of working with Delaware by addressing longstanding critical concerns about the impact of the
proposed dredging project, the Corps decided to proceed to deepen Delaware waters without Delaware’s approval. This decision is unacceptable. We are taking action to ensure that the Corps applies for and obtains the necessary Delaware permits before it dredges.”

Delaware’s Subaqueous Lands and Wetlands Acts require a federal agency to secure state pproval before conducting the type of dredging proposed by the Corps. The law makes clear that before issuing permits, the State must weigh the environmental harms posed by potential water pollution. Moreover, the Corps is required by the federal Clean Water Act to comply with State
water pollution requirements and to obtain necessary state permits before it can begin any dredging project that could result in polluted discharge or runoff.

On October 23, 2009, the Army Corps of Engineers notified Delaware that it intends to proceed with a plan to dredge the shipping channel of the Delaware River despite failing to first obtain required Delaware environmental permits. The proposed project would deepen the channel by at least five feet from the mouth of the Delaware Bay to the ports of Philadelphia and Camden.
Much of this project lies partially or wholly within Delaware territory.

“The Delaware Department of Justice is working closely with Governor Markell and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as we enforce Delaware’s laws. Moreover, we are working closely with the New Jersey Attorney General’s office to enforce our mutual interests in this matter.”
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