For Immediate Release - January 29, 2013

AG Coakley Announces New Division Chiefs

New Appointments Made to Environmental Protection, Medicaid Fraud and Civil Investigations Divisions

BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley is pleased to announce several new appointments to lead divisions in the office, all of whom bring remarkable skill, management experience, and passion for public service to their new roles.

In four recent staffing changes at the AG’s Office, Melissa Hoffer has been appointed as the Environmental Protection Division Chief with Betsy Harper as the division’s new Deputy Chief, George Zachos has been named the Medicaid Fraud Division Chief, and Kevin McCarthy has taken on the role as director of the office’s Civil Investigations Division.

Melissa Hoffer will oversee the office’s Environmental Protection Division, which is part of the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau. The division enforces environmental laws that protect our air and water, preserve our wetlands, tidelands, and public open space, require the clean-up of contaminated sites, and govern the use of pesticides and the handling and disposal of solid and hazardous waste.

A Concord resident, Hoffer is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Hampshire College, and holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. She previously served as a Vice President of the Conservation Law Foundation and Director of its Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice Program. She also previously worked as a Junior Partner in the Environmental Department at WilmerHale.

“Melissa is a seasoned environmental lawyer with substantial litigation and environmental policy experience,” AG Coakley said. “Her talent and expertise, paired with her desire to serve the public interest in environmental protection, makes her the perfect pick to lead our Environmental Protection Division in the important work they do each day.”

As Deputy Chief of the Environmental Protection Division, Betsy Harper will assist Hoffer in leading the Division in its work. Harper, a Littleton resident, is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law and the University of Pennsylvania. She has served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Protection Division for nearly 25 years. Her responsibilities include litigating and negotiating complex civil judicial cases relating to hazardous materials, radioactive waste, wetlands, clean air and water, and solid waste.

“Betsy has a long standing commitment to public service and environmental law,” said AG Coakley. “With her proven experience within the Environmental Protection Division, her proficiency and zeal will be invaluable in leading the Division in its mission to serve and protect the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

George Zachos, an Easton resident, is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Zachos has over 17 years of litigation experience and has served as a managing attorney of the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Division since 2007. Part of the office’s Business and Labor Bureau, the Medicaid Fraud Division conducts investigations and prosecutions of health care providers who defraud the Massachusetts Medicaid program. In addition, the Medicaid Fraud Division is responsible for reviewing complaints of abuse, neglect, mistreatment and financial exploitation of patients in long-term care facilities.

As part of his duties, Zachos has supervised investigations and prosecutions of complex criminal and civil cases, including cases involving the state False Claims Act. Zachos also previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Middlesex DA’s Office where he investigated and prosecuted a diverse caseload.

“George brings the leadership, expertise, and drive needed to lead the Medicaid Fraud Division,” said AG Coakley. “George is a knowledgeable attorney whose skill will be instrumental to the Division in its efforts to combat fraud, save taxpayer dollars, and protect the most vulnerable in our society from exploitation and abuse by their caregivers.”

Kevin McCarthy will oversee the Civil Investigations Division, which employs a staff of trained civil investigators who primarily provide investigative support for divisions within the AG’s Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau and the Government Bureaus. McCarthy will supervise the investigators whose responsibilities include locating and interviewing victims, witnesses, and subjects; obtaining and reviewing documentary evidence; conducting surveillance, background checks and asset checks; analyzing financial records; and testifying at trial.

A Hanover resident, McCarthy is a graduate of Nathaniel Hawthorne College. He previously worked as the Senior Supervisor of Investigations at Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations, where he conducted and supervised high level corporate investigations and served as a liaison between clients and law enforcement.

“Kevin brings over twenty years of management experience as well as extensive expertise in the investigative field,” said AG Coakley. “He will be an excellent leader to our investigators who provide vital support to so many of the divisions within our office.”

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