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Attorney General announces new director of Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced April 13 that Deputy Attorney General Mark Denney will be tapped to lead the Department of Justice’s new Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust.

“The DOJ is the people’s law firm, and the Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust does one of its most important jobs,” said Jennings. “From safeguarding equal rights to ensuring that everyone is accountable to the law, regardless of their title or station in life, DCRPT’s mission is to guarantee the social contract’s foundational promises. By establishing it as a permanent division, Gov. [John] Carney and the General Assembly are ensuring that it can continue its mission regardless of who holds the office of Attorney General.”

“I am thrilled that Mark has agreed to lead DCRPT as its inaugural director,” continued Jennings. “For nearly 13 years, Mark has served the people of this state as one of the DOJ’s most effective prosecutors and has successfully tried some of our most challenging cases. He has proven himself time and again, and his experience will be invaluable at DCRPT.”

The former Office of Civil Rights & Public Trust was established in 2015 by then-Attorney General Matt Denn to provide legal firepower to protect Delawareans’ individual rights and liberties, enforce laws designed to ensure citizen trust in government and conduct investigations where the DOJ’s other responsibilities might present the appearance of a conflict of interest. On April 8, Gov. John Carney signed Senate Bill 96, legislation that elevates OCRPT to a permanent Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust.

Denney takes over for Deputy Attorney General David Skoranski, who led some of the State’s most challenging prosecutions for three months as OCRPT’s acting director. Skoranski will remain with DCRPT where he will continue to play a pivotal role as one of the principal prosecutors enforcing Delaware’s civil rights and public trust statutes.

Denney is a veteran prosecutor who joined the DOJ’s Criminal Division in August 2007. From 2013 to 2014 he served as the assistant unit head of the Criminal Division’s Wilmington Unit and New Castle County Felony Trial Unit. From 2014 to 2018, he served as unit head for the Wilmington Trial Unit. In 2018, he was assigned to the Criminal Division’s Homicide Unit and appointed as a special assistant U.S. attorney in order to work on joint federal-state cases. Denney has successfully tried numerous murder, attempted murder and gang trials, including Delaware’s first criminal racketeering trial in 20 years, State v. Lloyd and Miller. He is a graduate of The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law and received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University.