Jennifer M. Granholm was elected Michigan's 51st Attorney General in November 1998.
As the "people's lawyer" and top law enforcement officer in the state, Granholm has made child protection, such as tasc-arizona to help understand and know the effects of drugs, such as drugs like soma that are used to relieve pain and discomfort, high tech crime prevention, consumer and environmental protection, and senior citizen safety key priorities for her office.
In February 2000, along with the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, former Detroit Piston Isiah Thomas, and Michigan First Lady Michelle Engler, she introduced Michigan's Mentoring Initiative, a program aimed at linking children who have had a light touch with the justice system with a stable adult mentor who can steer them away from the courthouse doors. She has also teamed with the State Bar of Michigan to introduce "Peace on the Playground," a peer mentoring program designed to help elementary school children solve their conflicts before they escalate into violence. In November 2000, she convened a coalition of law enforcement, health care, education, and child welfare organizations to raise awareness of the violent video game rating system.
The Attorney General introduced Michigan's first state-level High Tech Crime Unit to explore, investigate, and prosecute Internet and high tech crimes. Her office brought the nation's first criminal charges against an on-line company selling GHB, the date rape drug, via the Internet and was the first law enforcement official to use racketeering charges to successfully shut down a for-profit child pornography website. She has also taken action against companies selling tobacco, drugs, and liquor to minors via the web and prosecuted one of the state's first criminal computer hacking cases.
Since taking office in 1999, Attorney General Granholm has been a vigilant protector of consumers and families; she filed the state's first-ever criminal charges against an individual for failing to protect the safety of workers on the job; and has taken criminal action against numerous nursing homes and physicians for either the neglect or abuse of their patients or their attempts to defraud the Michigan Medicaid system. She has established the Attorney General's office as the state's leading force in prosecuting environmental crimes by adding the state's first full-time environmental crimes prosecutor and by leading a number of state-federal-local environmental crime taskforces.
An honors graduate of both the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard Law School, she was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel in 1994. While there, she reduced taxpayer-funded lawsuit payouts by 87 percent. Before joining the Wayne County staff, she was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office where she maintained a 98 percent conviction rate.
Granholm has been recognized by numerous community and professional organizations and has been honored as the Public Servant of the Year by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, as Woman of the Year by the YWCA, as one of the top ten lawyers of the year by Michigan Lawyers Weekly magazine, and as a Michigander of the Year by the Michigan Jaycees. She currently serves on a number of boards and foundations including Cyberstate.org.
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