Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces New Cybercrimes Division
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the creation of a new investigative division dedicated to cybercrimes and outlined the reorganization of his office to streamline priority operations while addressing budget cuts.
“This new cybercrimes unit fulfills my pledge to create a group of investigators that will focus its efforts on crimes that occur online or are committed by using new technology,” General Conway said.
The Cybercrimes Division will investigate predators who are trying to harm Kentucky kids and crack down on identity theft, the fastest-growing crime in America. The six investigators in the group will also pursue criminals who steal from consumers via Internet scams.
The unit will lead statewide efforts to train local law-enforcement officers in processing computer or digital forensics evidence. This week the Office of the Attorney General, in conjunction with the University of Louisville, is conducting digital forensics trainings in Frankfort and Hazard. Trainings will be conducted next week in Burlington and Paducah.
“I’m hearing from law-enforcement officers that 80 percent of crimes are committed using a computer and involve digital or computer forensics,” General Conway said. “It’s imperative that we reach out to investigators across Kentucky to make sure they are discovering and preserving crucial evidence that could lead to the successful prosecution of cybercriminals, and that we are expediting the turn-around time of processing digital evidence.”
In addition, Microsoft has chosen General Conway’s office as one of nine agencies in the nation to host cybercrimes training and data-collection seminars. Employees from Microsoft will conduct trainings for police officers and prosecutors from across the Commonwealth in September.
Reorganization of Attorney General’s Office
Investigators from the Cybercrimes Division will report to the Department of Criminal Investigations, formerly known as the Kentucky Bureau of Investigations (KBI). The DCI will also consist of the Drug Investigations Division that will bring renewed focus to fighting illegal drugs and combating prescription drug abuse. And public corruption investigators will report to the Special Investigations & Public Integrity Division of the DCI.
“Changing the name of this department does not and will not change the sworn law enforcement status of our investigators,” General Conway said. “This structure gives our officers more support and allows us the flexibility to maximize available resources in difficult budget times, while maintaining uniform training and qualification guidelines for all sworn staff.”
The current Division of Administrative Hearings will become a branch of the Civil Division, allowing the office to consolidate operations and relinquish some office space in the East Office.
The Office of the Attorney General worked with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to consolidate child support staff into one division at the cabinet, which will maximize federal funding for child support efforts. The Child Support Enforcement Commission has been eliminated from the Attorney General’s Office because its function will be covered by the cabinet.
The reorganizational changes were made by executive order and are effective June 16, 2008.
Streamlining Office Operations
The Attorney General’s Office experienced a budget reduction of 3 percent in the current year, and a 12 percent cut per year of the upcoming biennium. The Office of the Attorney General was recently instructed to cut the 2009 budget by an additional 4.5 percent to meet requirements in the state budget that are the result of retiring employees and other cost-saving measures.
Attorney General Conway has instituted the following cost-saving measures:
- Cut in vehicle expenditures
- Reduction in grant expenditures
- Reduction or elimination of travel
- Vacancies only filled on emergency or net revenue generation basis
- All comp time monitored to reduce block-50 payments
- Block-50’s converted to sick time for merit attorneys
Since taking office, General Conway has reduced the number of non-merit staff from 36 to 24. He has secured language in the state budget to recover the reasonable costs of litigation and is seeking to secure additional government work that may currently be outsourced to private attorneys.
“I want to thank our staff for making my transition a smooth one and for helping streamline the functions of this office to meet our priorities and statutory obligations,” General Conway said. “The leadership team we’ve assembled in this office blends experience with new ideas, and I know that working together, we will continue providing excellent service to Kentuckians.”