Steve C. Lee is Confirmed by the New Jersey Senate as Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
NEWARK - Steve Lee was unanimously confirmed today by the New Jersey Senate as Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. Lee, a Bergen County resident, has led the state’s consumer protection agency as acting director since April 2014.
During his tenure as Acting Director, Lee has overseen numerous initiatives to improve Division services, increased accountability for those who violate consumer protection laws and regulations, and launched educational programs to better protect New Jersey’s consumers, particularly senior citizens.
“Steve Lee has demonstrated excellent leadership as Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs,” said Governor Chris Christie. “I thank the Senate for recognizing his capabilities and accomplishments by confirming his nomination.”
“Steve’s expertise and commitment to good government is rivaled only by his dedication to protecting New Jersey consumers and improving the efficacy of the Division’s services,” said Acting Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. “There’s no one more qualified to guide the Division as it continues to robustly fulfill its duty to protect the marketplace by enforcing the laws and standards set for businesses and professionals in New Jersey.”
Among the initiatives Lee has overseen as Acting 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.
- Creating and implementing a state-wide fraud education initiative called “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.
"I am deeply honored by the confidence Governor Christie and Acting Attorney General
Porrino have in me,” said Director Lee. “I look forward to continuing my leadership of the Division as we develop innovative ways to promote consumer education, improve services to the public, and reinforce New Jersey’s position as a national leader in consumer advocacy.”
A graduate of Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School, Lee served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York for approximately nine years before being appointed Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs by then-Acting Attorney General John Hoffman.
While working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lee prosecuted numerous high-profile cases involving securities and commodities fraud, public corruption, and organized crime. Prior to his position as federal prosecutor Lee clerked for the Honorable Barbara S. Jones, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
As Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, Lee is responsible for overseeing approximately 550 Division employees in four locations throughout the state, with the primary location in Newark.
The mission of the Division is to protect New Jersey consumers from fraud, deceit and misrepresentation in the sale of goods and services. The Division consists of the Office of Consumer Protection, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, the Office of Weights and Measures, the Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission, and 47 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.
Lee lives with his wife and two sons in Bergen County.