Steve C. Lee was nominated by the Governor of New Jersey and confirmed unanimously by the New Jersey State Senate to be Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Lee had been previously appointed to serve as Acting Director in April 2014. As Director, Lee is responsible for managing and overseeing the approximately 550 Division employees who staff the Division's Office of Consumer Protection, Bureau of Securities, Office of Weights and Measures, and 47 State professional licensing boards which regulate more than 80 professions and occupations. The Division is also responsible for managing the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program, enforcing the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, and regulating the fund raising activities of charities in New Jersey. The Division's broad mission is to protect the people of New Jersey from fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation in the sale of goods and services.
Prior to this appointment, Lee worked for almost nine years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, prosecuting and trying various federal criminal cases. These included cases involving complex securities and commodities fraud, international telemarketing fraud, and public corruption.
Among the initiatives Lee has overseen as Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs are:
- Aggressively bringing actions and reaching settlements in national and state matters involving various types of fraud, including fraud targeting non-English speakers and other vulnerable populations, leading to millions of dollars in restitution and penalties.
- "Fighting Fraud," addressing the various types of scams regularly targeting New Jersey's senior citizens.
- Significantly improving licensing processing times across the Division's professional boards, including the licensing process for nurses and the certification process for certified homemaker-home health aides.
- Working with the Board of Medical Examiners to ensure that appropriate discipline is imposed on doctors committing serious professional misconduct, including sexual misconduct, and that notice of such discipline is publicized and readily available to current or prospective patients.
- Expanding the capabilities of the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program and significantly increasing access to this database for physicians and other medical professionals.
- Creating a new Division website and applying improved technology to permit online consumer complaint filing and online charitable registration, along with working toward expanding the number of professional boards that accept online applications and renewals.
Director Lee earned his law degree at Harvard Law School and his undergraduate degree at Bowdoin College.
Director Lee lives with his wife and two sons in Bergen County, New Jersey.