Healey to create ‘Ask AG’ division


This originally ran in the Boston Globe

Initiative keeps campaign pledge

By David Scharfenberg

Attorney General-elect Maura Healey will announce the creation of a new division of community engagement in her inaugural address Wednesday, pledging to answer the public’s questions in online forums and at in-person events across the state.

The “Ask the AG” effort will raise the profile of a figure widely considered a rising star in Massachusetts politics, and it dovetails with a campaign promise to be the “people’s lawyer.”

“That commitment begins with an attorney general’s office guided by the values of responsiveness, inclusion, and integrity,” Healey will say, according to her prepared remarks.

A spokesman said she will not request additional money for the effort, diverting existing resources instead.

Healey, who will be sworn in by Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants at Faneuil Hall as the state’s 55th attorney general, is one of four statewide officials scheduled to take the oath of office Wednesday.

Treasurer-elect Deborah Goldberg, who will be sworn in by Governor Charlie Baker in the House of Representatives chamber, is expected to announce the creation of a new Office of Economic Empowerment.

The deputy treasurer in charge of the office will work on issues Goldberg discussed in the campaign, such as financial literacy, college savings, and equal pay for women.

A Goldberg spokesman said it will not require any new spending.

Auditor Suzanne Bump, who is beginning her second term, is expected to trumpet the high-profile audits of her first term, several of which focused on education and child welfare.

She will also discuss her efforts to overhaul the office, according to an aide.

Four years ago, a National State Auditors Association review blasted her predecessor, A. Joseph DeNucci.

Last year, the organization gave her office a passing grade, the highest grade it issues.

Secretary of State William F. Galvin, as is his custom, will be sworn in privately by the governor Wednesday. In an interview, he said he will push in his new term for federal legislation that would tighten regulation of 401(k) retirement plans.

Healey’s division of community engagement, according to an aide, will include an online portal allowing citizens to request training on confronting bullying, sexual harassment, and other issues. The new office will also use technology to ferret out trends in the public’s complaints and target investigations accordingly.

David Scharfenberg can be reached at david.scharfenberg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @dscharfGlobe

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