NEWARK – Attorney General Gurbir Grewal today announced that Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs Kaitlin Caruso will depart next month to take a job in academia, and that Sean Neafsey, who currently serves as Deputy Director of the Division's Office of Consumer Protection, will serve as the Division's next Acting Director beginning on August 1, 2021.
Caruso joined the Division in 2018 as the Deputy Director for Policy and Strategic Planning and also served for a period of time as Acting Deputy Director for the Office of Consumer Protection before being appointed Acting Director for the Division earlier this year.
"Kaitlin Caruso has been central to our efforts to build a stronger consumer financial protection agency than New Jersey has ever seen before, and helped guide the Division as it played a pivotal role in the State's response to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Attorney General Grewal. "I am grateful to Kaitlin for her dedication and wish her the best as she embarks on a new journey."
Since her appointment, the main focus of Acting Director Caruso has been to oversee the Division's critical work in responding to the pandemic. Most recently, as New Jersey made significant progress in the fight against COVID-19 and restrictions were lifted, Caruso headed the revision and implementation of new guidance for a safe return to normalcy while managing the ongoing threat to public health.
Under her leadership, the Division has continued to investigate and pursue complex civil cases with a special emphasis on frauds and predatory practices that target the most vulnerable.
To ensure a seamless transition, Acting Director Caruso will continue in her current position until July 30.
"Sean Neafsey has demonstrated tremendous talent and leadership ability as Deputy Director of the Office of Consumer Protection," said Attorney General Grewal. "I am confident that his experience and knowledge will be a great asset as the Division continues to protect consumers."
Before joining the Division Caruso served as the chair of the Strategic Advocacy Committee and Senior Counsel for Strategic Advocacy at the New York City Law Department. She also worked in that Department's Legal Counsel Division, for the New York City Council, in the Office of the Counsel to the Mayor of New York City and as an Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Fraud Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General's Office.
Neafsey joined the Division as Deputy Director of the Office of Consumer Protection in 2020. Immediately prior, Neafsey practiced law at a Squire Patton Boggs, where he focused on representing companies in complex civil litigation and government investigations. Earlier in his career, Neafsey served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Virginia A. Long, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
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The mission of the Division of Coansumer Affairs, within the Department of Law and Public Safety, is to protect the public from fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and professional misconduct in the sale of goods and services in New Jersey through education, advocacy, regulation and enforcement. The Division pursues its mission through its 51 professional and occupational boards that oversee 720,000 licensees in the state, its Regulated Business section that oversees 60,000 NJ registered businesses, as well as through its Office of Consumer Protection, Bureau of Securities, Charities Registration section, Office of Weights and Measures, and Legalized Games of Chance section.