John Lacey, a partner at Connell Foley, has been appointed to the State Commission of Investigation by Gov. Phil Murphy, the firm announced.
Established by then-Gov. Richard Hughes in 1968, the SCI is an independent agency formed to investigate waste, fraud and abuse of government tax dollars. Lacey will serve as a commissioner on the SCI for a term of four years while maintaining his legal practice with Connell Foley.
Lacey, a former federal prosecutor, serves as chair of Connell Foley’s White Collar Criminal Defense Group. He has decades of experience handling internal investigations, particularly those involving claims of fraud, financial crimes, corruption and other complex issues.
“This appointment is an incredible honor, and the culmination of my many years of experience advising corporate clients and handling internal corporate investigations and complex commercial matters,” Lacey said. “From my days as a federal prosecutor to now, I have been committed to uncovering fraud, mismanagement and corruption in both public and private entities.
“I am humbled to have been selected by Gov. Murphy for this prestigious role, and commit to serving the governor, the state and our residents thoroughly, ethically and effectively.”
Formed in large part to ensure organized crime did not influence state politics, the SCI has saved taxpayers “millions of dollars,” its website says — and has been the catalyst for numerous statutory, regulatory and administrative reforms.
Lacey and his co-commissioners are tasked with investigating and making recommendations to the governor and Legislature on matters concerning public justice, including investigations involving public officials and entities, and those doing business with such individuals and entities.
Connell Foley Managing Partner Timothy Corriston praised the selection.
“On behalf of Connell Foley, we are extremely proud of John and this significant and well-deserved appointment,” he said. “John has long proven to his clients and the legal community that his insight, experience and commitment to rooting out corruption are unrivaled.
“We know he will serve this commission with vigor and distinction, while simultaneously continuing to lead the firm’s internal investigations and white-collar defense practices. We believe the governor made a very wise choice in selecting John for the commission, and we are likewise proud of Connell Foley’s continued history of dedication to New Jersey that this appointment represents.”
In addition to Lacey, Murphy appointed the Rev. Tiffany Williams Brewer as chair of the commission. They will join the current commissioners, Kevin Reina and Robert Burzichelli, to complete the four-person agency.
Lacey joined Connell Foley in 1990. He received his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law and his B.S. from Arizona State University. Lacey is admitted to practice in New Jersey, New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.