Attorney General Names New Director for Department of Justice Family Division

Deputy Attorney General Abigail Rodgers Layton
   Deputy Attorney General Abigail Rodgers Layton

Attorney General Matt Denn announced Friday that Deputy Attorney General Abigail Rodgers Layton has been named the next Director of the Family Division in the Delaware Department of Justice.

Layton is currently a prosecutor in the department’s Medicaid Fraud Control unit.

A graduate of Gettysburg College and Villanova University School of Law, Layton has worked for DOJ for 10 years, with some time in private practice as well. She served as the Commander of DOJ’s Child Predator Task Force for 4 years, and also as a criminal prosecutor in the department’s Misdemeanor Trial and Domestic Violence units. She is also the board president of Prevent Child Abuse Delaware.

“Abby is an accomplished prosecutor and manager, with a longstanding interest in the welfare of children,” said Attorney General Denn. “She is uniquely qualified to address the complex set of issues that the Family Division handles, and I am pleased that she will be overseeing the very capable attorneys and staff who work in our Family Division.”

DOJ’s Family Division is responsible for adjudication of juveniles in Family Court; prosecution of child dependency and neglect cases; securing and enforcing child support orders; enforcing truancy laws; and overseeing the work of DOJ’s ombudsman for school bullying incidents.

Layton takes over the Family Division director position on January 9, 2017, when current director LaKresha Roberts becomes the new Chief Deputy for the Department of Justice.


Attorney General Names Aaron Goldstein as State Solicitor and LaKresha Roberts as Director of Family Division

Aaron_Goldstein
Deputy Attorney General Aaron Goldstein

LaKresha_Roberts
Deputy Attorney General LaKresha Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attorney General Matt Denn announced that Deputy Attorney General Aaron Goldstein has been tapped as State Solicitor in charge of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, and Deputy Attorney General LaKresha Roberts will become director of DOJ’s Family Division.

A graduate of the University of Delaware and Widener University School of Law, Goldstein has been with the Department of Justice since 2004, including serving as assistant head of the Government Services Unit, and most recently, head of the Department’s Health Law Unit.  Prior to working at the Department of Justice, he worked in a private law firm, in the New Castle County Office of Law, the City of Wilmington Law Department and as an Assistant Public Defender. He was chosen as a Henry Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments in 2011.

Roberts graduated from Pace University and the Widener University School of Law, and joined the Department of Justice in 2010, where she has worked in the Child Support, Child Protection, Juvenile Delinquency, and most recently, the Domestic Violence Unit. She previously worked for Family Court as a law clerk and as a mediation and arbitration officer. She was selected by the Delaware Business Times as one of their “40 Under 40” for 2015.

“It gives me great pleasure to make these two additions to our leadership team within the department,” said Attorney General Denn. “Aaron has served in a number of capacities in the Civil Division as well as in other government settings providing him experience that is well suited for the State Solicitor role. LaKresha’s career has been based on her passion and compassion for serving Delaware’s children and families and I have been impressed with her judgment. They will both do well in their respective roles.”

Goldstein has already taken the position of State Solicitor, replacing Meredith Tweedie, who moved to Governor Markell’s office. Roberts will replace Family Division director Patricia Dailey Lewis, who is retiring at the end of November after 30 years with the Department of Justice.

“We have had a number of opportunities within the department to honor Patty Dailey Lewis over the last few weeks, including presenting her with a new department award named in honor of Beau Biden,” Attorney General Denn said. “Families and children in Delaware – both in a general sense and in hundreds of specific individual cases – are better off because of Patty’s career and accomplishments, and we will miss her.”


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVAwarenessPurpleRibbon
October is DV Awarenss Month

WILMINGTON, Del.- The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council would like to remind everyone that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Last year in Delaware, 23,985 domestic violence incidents were reported to law enforcement, and Family Court issued 1,546 orders for Protection From Abuse.

Governor Markell will declare October 2014 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month for the purpose of bringing focus to a crime that affects the health, safety and welfare of thousands of Delawareans. Elected officials and a student gender-based violence prevention advocate will share remarks, followed by Miss Delaware’s story of her own family’s tragic loss due to domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence would like to invite you to join domestic violence advocates, law enforcement officers, prosecutors and others at this kick-off event. The Proclamation signing will be held on Monday, October 6, 2014 at 1:00PM in the Governor’s Conference Room on the 12th Floor of the Carvel State Office Building.

For more information about this event, or other Domestic Violence Awareness Month events, please contact the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council or the Delaware Coaliton Against Domestic Violence.

If you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone who is, contact your local 24-hour domestic violence hotline to learn about all of your options, including shelter, legal assistance, support groups, and more. Hotline staff can help you create a safety plan personalized for your situation.

24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotlines & Shelters in Delaware:
New Castle County (bilingual services available): 302-762-6110

Kent & Sussex Counties: 302-422-8058
302-745-9874 (bilingual hotline)

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474


Biden’s office brings hate crime, other more serious charges against three juveniles for assault of a Newark-area man

Wilmington – Prosecutors today filed additional, more serious charges against three juveniles recently charged with the assault of a 26 year-old Newark-area man who suffers from a neurodevelopmental disorder. The three juveniles were initially arrested by New Castle County Police earlier this month and charged with Offensive Touching, Assault of a Vulnerable Adult, and Conspiracy 3rd Degree after videos appeared on social media websites documenting their alleged assault of the victim.

“It is our responsibility to protect people who cannot protect themselves,” Attorney General Beau Biden said. “Targeting and assaulting a vulnerable victim is especially egregious and those who do so face significant consequences under the law. Every parent needs to talk with their children about this incident and how to prevent these types of crimes.”

After further investigation by the New Castle County Police in consultation with the Delaware Department of Justice, and review of the evidence by prosecutors, Biden’s office today brought additional charges against each of the three juveniles through a petition filed in Family Court. Those additional charges are:
• Hate Crime (felony)
• Crime Against a Vulnerable Adult (felony)
• Conspiracy 2nd Degree (felony)
• Abuse of an Impaired Adult (felony)
• Conspiracy 3rd Degree (misdemeanor)
• Harassment (misdemeanor)
• Assault 3rd Degree (misdemeanor)

One of the 14 year-old juveniles has also been charged with two additional counts of Hate Crime (one felony and one misdemeanor) and Crime against a Vulnerable Adult (one felony and one misdemeanor), and one additional (misdemeanor) count each of Harassment, Offensive Touching, and Abuse of an Impaired Adult.

The three juveniles will be arraigned in Family Court on the new charges, at which time bail will be reviewed. The investigation into these incidents is continuing. Because the cases remain in Delaware Family Court the State continues to withhold the names of the juveniles.

The Delaware Department of Justice reminds the public that a charge is merely an allegation and that the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

# # #


Biden urges consumers to be wary of vacation-related scams

Wilmington – As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, Attorney General Beau Biden warned Delawareans to be on the lookout for travel-related frauds and scams.

“Vacationers are prime targets for scammers who attempt to swindle victims out of their money or steal their personal information to commit identity theft,” said Biden. “Help protect yourself from fraud during your travels and secure your property and valuables back home while you’re away by taking a few simple precautionary measures.”

Families can help protect themselves from fraud while planning a vacation and during their travels, and guard against theft back home by being aware of the following scams reported to law enforcement across the country:

  • Travel ticket scam. Online ads, emails, and other marketing schemes advertise cheap or free airline tickets on a nonexistent airline whose name sounds remarkably similar to a well-established commercial airline. In order to claim or purchase the tickets, the victim is directed to provide the “airline” with personal information that the scammer uses to commit identity theft.
  • Rental Scam. Vacation rental properties are advertised, commonly online, by conmen who do not actually own the properties.  After a renter pays the scammer a deposit or surrenders personal information to them, they later learn that the rental property either does not exist or that the property is not owned by the scammer, who hijacked details and photos of the property for their fraudulent advertisement.
  • Pizza delivery scam. Flyers for phony pizza delivery are slipped under hotel doors or handed out at travel locations such as the beach. These advertisements direct travelers to place a delivery order by providing their credit card number, which the fraudster uses to commit theft.
  • Imposter Scam.  Scammers contact a hotel’s front desk and ask to be transferred to a random guest room.  The scammer poses as a hotel staffer when the unsuspecting guest answers the phone, claiming that the hotel has encountered a payment problem and directing the guest to provide credit card number or personal information in order to resolve the issue.
  • Social Media posts.  Thieves monitor social media accounts looking for postings that state when consumers will be away on travel, leaving their home empty and a target for burglary.
  • The vacation arrest scam.  An elderly resident receives a call or e-mail from an imposter claiming to be their grandchild on a trip out of state or in a foreign county.  The scammer may report they have been arrested or mugged and pressure the resident to wire them money immediately in order to post bail or travel home.

Follow these tips to avoid being victimized in a vacation-related scam:

  • Use only reputable travel sites and companies for booking rentals and other travel services.  Thoroughly verify rental postings made on Craigslist or other social networking sites.  Never provide personal information over the phone or via e-mail, and never wire money to an individual or company or send money to a PO Box without first verifying their authenticity.
  • Don’t announce your vacation on social media until after you have returned from your travels.
  • Securely lock all doors and windows of your home while traveling, use timers to keep lights on at night, and ask neighbors to keep an eye on your property while you are away.
  • If you are traveling far from home or for extended periods of time, notify your bank in advance about your trip to help guard against suspicious behavior on your account.
  • Limit what you carry in your wallet (credit cards and other documents with personal identifying information) during your travels.
  • If you receive a call from your hotel front desk seeking payment information, address the matter face-to-face with hotel staff.
  • Be wary if you receive an urgent call from a family member claiming to be out in trouble on vacation and needing money fast.  Verify the claim with another family member and ask the caller to provide information about them or about you that only a family member would know.
  • Be cautious of your belongings and personal information when traveling, no matter how close the destination is.

For more information on how to avoid summertime vacation scams, visit the Biden’s Consumer Protection Unit online at www.attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/fraud, call the Consumer Hotline at 1-800-220-5424, or e-mail consumer.protection@delaware.gov.

Compiled, in part, with information from:

 

# # #