Schuette appoints victims advocate

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced he has created the new position of Crime Victims' Advocate in the Attorney General's office to serve as a statewide voice and resource for Michigan crime victims, fulfilling a pledge he made upon taking office this year.

To fill the post, Schuette has appointed John H. Lazet.

''Too often, the victims of crime are forgotten. But that is going to change,'' said Schuette.

''Victims of crime need an aggressive champion on their side to ensure they receive the support they deserve and that is what the Crime Victims' Advocate will do.''

As the Attorney General's Crime Victims' Advocate, Lazet will ensure that the office serves as a resource for crime victims and law enforcement in Michigan.

For example, Lazet will work to uphold Schuette's commitment that crime victims are informed about their rights to object to the parole of violent criminals who remain a danger to society.

Lazet will also coordinate efforts to assist crime victims by working closely with the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM) and other state and local law enforcement agencies, and advocate for legislative changes that can help victims.

Lazet, of Mason, brings years of experience working to protect the rights of crime victims in the Michigan State Senate.

While working there, he assisted with the drafting and passage of public safety legislation, including refinements to the nationally recognized William Van Regenmorter Crime Victim's Rights Act.

Lazet also assisted the Michigan Judicial Institute in editing a book to provide Michigan judges guidance on crime victim's rights.

And, he is a founding Board Member of The Crime Victim Foundation, a charitable non-profit organization founded in 1992 to provide financial assistance to Michigan crime victims.

Lazet comes to the Department of Attorney General from Sen. Mike Green's office, where he served as Chief of Staff. Lazet previously served as Chief of Staff to former Michigan State Senators William Van Regenmorter, Alan Cropsey, and Harmon Cropsey.

Published: Mon, May 9, 2011