New director named at state investigations board

TRENTON – The State Commission of Investigation on Tuesday appointed Philip James Degnan, an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, its executive director effective May 9.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue to serve the people of the State of New Jersey,” Degnan said in a statement. “I look forward to being a part of the SCI’s critical independent mission to investigate and disclose to the public issues relating to organized crime, wasteful financial practices and public safety.”

Degnan, 40, will succeed former Camden County Prosecutor and Superior Court Judge Alan A. Rockoff, who last month announced his intention to retire from public service after a long career that included nearly eight years heading SCI.

“Phil Degnan is expertly qualified to take this important and impartial watchdog agency forward,” said Patrick E. Hobbs, SCI’s acting chairman. “His law enforcement credentials, experience and integrity will serve to extend a tradition of strong leadership that long has been a hallmark of the SCI. Alan Rockoff and his predecessors served with skill and distinction, and so will Phil Degnan.”

Degnan was selected following an evaluation process conducted by the commission. The SCI is made up of Hobbs, Robert J. Martin and Todd Caliguire.

As SCI’s executive director, Degnan will manage and administer the day-to-day operations of the independent state agency. SCI was created in 1968 to investigate organized crime and corruption, waste of tax money and other abuses of the public trust, the statement said.  It has issued reports and conducted public hearings in connection with more than 120 investigations over the years..

Degnan is a graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina, and he earned his law degree from Seton Hall University Law School in Newark.

New director named at state investigations board