The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is one of the oldest and also one of the most divergent public offices in the U.S. It’s been over 300 years since it’s been a part of the Commonwealth (since 1643) and it is responsible for managing the criminal justice issues occurring within the state’s borders. The mission of the Pennsylvania Attorney General is to represent the people of PA in the court of law in both civil and criminal cases. The office ensures necessary legal counsel to agencies and state officers as well as to boards and commissions.
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General was established in 1643 even before the issuing of the English Common Law. The office was initially governing the New Sweden area and its appointees were personally chosen by the King of Sweden. As time passed by, changes occurred within the Office and today’s Attorney General is a Governor elected female attorney Linda L. Kelly. She was nominated by Governor Tom Corbett to succeed him and will serve the remainder of his elected term. She was unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate in March, 2011 and she officially took the oath of office on May 27, 2011. Kelly is the first woman to lead the Office of Attorney General since it became an independent elected office in 1981.
The main duties and responsibilities of the Pennsylvania Attorney General refer to: prosecuting organized crime and public corruption, management of a criminal investigation unit, drug law enforcement program, Medicaid Fraud Control and direction of statewide and multi-county investigating grand juries. The Pennsylvania Attorney General is therefore the Commonwealth’s chief law enforcement officer responsible for the appropriate functioning of all of these services and programs.
Additional duties include the collection of debts and taxes that are due to the Commonwealth. These taxes and debts will be managed by the Attorney General at all times. The Attorney General is the official representative of the Commonwealth and all of the agencies pertaining to the Commonwealth along with the State Treasurer, Auditor General and Public Utility Commission. Administering provisions that come under consumer protection laws and representing the Commonwealth and all of its citizens in actions regarding antitrust law violations are also the basic responsibilities of the Office.
The motto of the Pennsylvania Attorney General Office is “Protecting Pennsylvania families.” and it displays the care that is being given to all PA residents. By visiting the official web site of the General Attorney’s Office over here http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/, you will see which are the main programs and services that are being offered to the public. For instance, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit has been created in order to investigate cases involving minors who are victims of sexual solicitations from adults over the Internet. The respective adults can either reside inside or outside the State of Pennsylvania. Reporting possible cybercrimes can be done here http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/contactus/sexcybercrimeform.aspx - and this comes to show the great degree of interest the Attorney General’s Office is putting into the protection of PA youngsters.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Prescription Monitoring Program is yet another example of a program that is highly useful to the public. The Office is entitled and authorized by law under Title 28 PA Consolidated Statute, Chapter 25, Subchapter A, Section 25.131 to collect data that related to the dispensation of controlled substances by PA pharmacies. The Bureau of Narcotics Investigation handles this program and verifiers the use of controlled substances under Pennsylvania's drug act. Plus, the Prescription Drug Abuse Education Programs is part of the Attorney General's Education & Outreach Unit. They feature an original video production entitled "Consequences" containing prescription drug abuse information. Additionally, the Office supports "National Take Back Day" – a special effort to remove unwanted prescription drugs from PA households.
Special care is also extended the elderly by this office. The Attorney General's Elderl Abuse Unit is responsible for investigating and prosecuting individuals who are caught cheating, deceiving or abusing older Pennsylvanians. Senior fraud is also a part of the education branch of the Unit.