Governor Carney Announces Appointment of Special Assistant at Department of Correction

Claire DeMatteis, former senior counsel to U.S. Senator Joe Biden, will lead implementation of DOC plan

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday announced his appointment of Claire DeMatteis – a former senior counsel to then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden – as a temporary Special Assistant to the Governor at the Delaware Department of Correction.

DeMatteis will focus her efforts on reform of management practices and training, cultural turnaround, and implementation of Governor Carney’s plan following the Independent Review into the causes of the February 1 incident at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. She will work alongside Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps, and report to Governor Carney on implementation of the plan. DeMatteis, a Delaware attorney, also will issue publicly-available reports – at six months and one year after her appointment – that detail the state’s progress in implementing the Independent Review’s recommendations.

“We’re serious about getting this right. Claire is tough, she is independent-minded, and she has the judgement and credibility necessary to work alongside Commissioner Phelps and help us make real change,” said Governor Carney. “Her experience inside and outside of government will serve our state well. She is a skilled lawyer who knows how to execute on a plan, and hold people accountable. I’m confident that Claire is the right person for the job.”

“We owe it to the correctional officers, inmates and citizens of Delaware to get this right and resolve past deficiencies,” said DeMatteis. “We have a clear road map and mandate to make the needed changes.”

DeMatteis will help ensure that Commissioner Phelps can seamlessly continue to lead agency operations, while the two work together to implement reforms that the Governor and Commissioner have prioritized.

“I look forward to working closely with Claire to directly confront many of the issues facing our correctional system,” said Commissioner Phelps. “Her experience in government, and in the private sector, will help us put management practices into place that will make a real difference over the long-term.”

Appointment of a Special Assistant was a crucial element of Governor Carney’s plan to reform the Department of Correction.

Last week, Governor Carney and the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware announced an agreement to raise salaries for Delaware’s correctional officers – including a 22 percent increase to starting officer pay. The agreement, which includes establishment of a Labor-Management committee to study additional staffing issues, will help the state recruit and retain officers across Delaware’s correctional system.

Governor Carney’s DOC plan also includes:

  • Investing $2 million in new cameras and authorizing 50 additional correctional officer positions at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center;
  • Investing $1.3 million in new equipment and training for correctional officers;
  • Appointing a new Bureau Chief of Community Correction with expertise in managing re-entry programs and reducing recidivism;
  • Directing the Delaware State Police and the Department of Correction to jointly conduct an after-action review of the February 1 incident;
  • And directing the to-be-created Department of Human Resources to implement a comprehensive staffing plan that eliminates the shortage of correctional officers.

DeMatteis, who will begin work in July, has a diverse professional background in government, corporate governance and healthcare.

From 2013-2016, DeMatteis worked as general counsel and senior vice president at Affinity Health Plan Inc., where she was responsible for all legal, regulatory and compliance matters for the $1.4 billion corporation. She worked in a similar role as executive vice president, general counsel, and chief privacy officer for Catalina Marketing Corporation, a digital media marketing company.

Previously, DeMatteis spent four years at Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, a Mid-Atlantic law firm with offices in Wilmington. She was partner in charge of the firm’s Delaware office from 2007-2008.

During her decade working as senior counsel for then-Senator Biden, from 1994-2004, DeMatteis served as a member of a senior team on issues involving law enforcement, foreign policy, and constitutional matters. She helped guide campaign strategy, managed constituent communications and drafted legislation.

Most recently, DeMatteis served in a senior role at the Delaware Department of Labor, where she helped navigate resolution to the recent data breach at the department, keeping the media, public and legislators well informed on the state’s response and structural reforms to prevent future breaches.

DeMatteis earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, and holds a law degree from Widener University Delaware Law School.

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Related news:
Governor Carney, COAD Announce Agreement to Raise Correctional Officer Pay
Governor Carney Announces Plan to Address Recommendations of DOC Independent Review
Governor Carney Releases Initial Report of Department of Correction Independent Review


Governor Carney Announces Re-Appointment of Judge Witham to Delaware Superior Court

Nomination must be approved by the Delaware Senate

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Saturday announced his nomination to re-appoint Judge William L. Witham Jr. to the Delaware Superior Court, as Resident Judge for Kent County.

The Delaware Senate must approve Judge Witham’s nomination.

“Judge Witham has served the State of Delaware with distinction,” said Governor Carney. “I am pleased he has agreed to continue his service, and look forward to the Delaware Senate considering his nomination.”

The Honorable William L. Witham Jr. became an Associate Judge of the Delaware Superior Court in February 1999. He was appointed Kent County Resident Judge in January 2005.

Click here for Judge Witham’s full bio.


New Division of Revenue Director Appointed

David Gregor has been appointed the new Director of Revenue for the State of Delaware, effective Monday, January 9, 2017.  Mr. Gregor has been with the Department of Finance for more than 29 years, most recently serving as the Deputy Secretary of Finance – a position he’s held since August of 2010. He has been responsible for policy development, financial analysis, as well as public affairs and communications for the department; including, but not limited to, tax, debt and infrastructure investment policies, and the management of the annual revenue stream in excess of $2.8 billion.

Mr. Gregor’s significant contributions the Department of Finance include providing analytic and strategic support to the Secretary – including public review of the State’s revenue system covering portfolio risks and economic competitiveness, producing recommendations that formed the basis for legislation that contained the most significant corporate income tax amendments in decades. He was responsible for modernizing the State’s primary economic development tax credit program in order to provide larger and better targeted incentives – at zero cost to the State. He has led the Division of Revenue through a thorough review of personal income tax processing methods, and ultimately reduced refund processing times by 30%. He also facilitated the efforts of tax administrators, industry executives and elected officials in the amendment of gross receipts tax, which led to the reopening of a shuttered refinery and the restoration of 800 jobs.

Since August 2013, Mr. Gregor has simultaneously served as State Escheator, managing all aspects of Unclaimed Property – the state’s third largest revenue source, with a staff of more than 20 employees and on-site contractors responsible for the administration of a $500 million revenue source. He led the team in a fourfold increase in claims paid, and the annual return of $100 million in assets to the property owners. He championed the implementation of a state of the art unclaimed property system enhancing internal controls, processing efficiencies, operational reporting and web-based functionality for owners and holders. This has resulted in a fivefold increase in claims submissions, and allowed for online filing of annual holder reports.

He has led or participated in the preparation of the State’s General Fund revenue forecast, and functioned as a tax policy analyst. Mr. Gregor previously managed the Bureau of Business Tax Systems, overseeing a staff of 20 responsible for processing and reconciling business license, gross receipts and withholding tax payments. He established performance measures for the new withholding computer system and identified causes of processing delays and managed the elimination of a multi-year backlog resulting in over $1 million in assessments He has also served as Executive Assistance to the Secretary of Finance with responsibility for a $35 million budget covering three operating divisions and department-wide information technology capital plan, and contributed to the development of statewide financial policies, including legged payroll, collection and write-off practices, and proper use of surplus state funds.

“David has a deep commitment to delivering efficient and effective services to Delaware’s taxpayers,” said Finance Secretary Tom Cook. “With his experience in finance, and his outstanding management skills, I am confident he can guide the Division of Revenue to new and even higher standards.”


Michael J. Wolf Named Delaware Director of Forensic Science

Dover, DE – Today Lewis D. Schiliro, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, announced the appointment of Michael J. Wolf as Delaware’s Director of Forensic Science.  Director Wolf, who will manage the overall operation of the Division of Forensic Science (DFS), is filling a new position created during the legislative reorganization of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner last year.

“Director Wolf brings the administrative and leadership skills needed to work through the many challenges facing this new division.  His experience working with three other states to manage forensic science labs and solve problems similar to those discovered in our state last year will help the division fulfill its critical mission supporting our criminal justice community,” Gov. Jack Markell said.

Director Wolf, who recently concluded a Special Inquiry for the Massachusetts Inspector General’s Office, has extensive experience managing turnarounds in state forensic drug laboratories.  Working in Massachusetts for the past two years, Wolf has provided assistance and guidance in the inquiry of a state forensic drug laboratory that was closed following reports of serious malfeasance, flawed analytical practices, failures in conducting tests, reporting results, and tampering with certain drug samples to render positive results.

In Connecticut, he served on the Governor’s Forensic Laboratory Working Group analyzing audit reports, developing remedial strategies and making recommendations to resolve 100 non-compliance findings that resulted in the revocation of the laboratory’s accreditation. In North Carolina while serving as Special Inquiry, he reviewed over 6,000 questionable cases, uncovered documentation discrepancies and vulnerabilities and offered recommendations that enhanced reporting accuracy.

“Mike’s solid background in management coupled with his wide-ranging knowledge of forensic science labs is exactly what Delaware needs at this time. He will most certainly provide the leadership necessary to support the new structure of the DFS organization as well as to ensure the success of all disciplines within the Division,” Sec. Schiliro said.

Director Wolf holds a Masters of Science in Forensic Science from George Washington University and Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and General Science from Villanova University. He also is a retired FBI Agent.

“I am looking forward to working collaboratively with laboratory personnel and department management in bringing the division forward as a state of the art forensic operation,” Director Wolf said.

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