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Governor's Choice for Victim Advocate has Vernon Ties

The appointment of Garvin Ambrose was announced on Friday.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Friday announced that he has named Garvin G. Ambrose the state’s new Victim Advocate.

Ambrose has ties to both Chicago and Vernon, Malloy said.

Ambrose is currently the executive assistant state’s attorney and legislative liaison in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago, where he serves as an advocate on issues of civil, criminal, juvenile and family law, and assists in the development, research and drafting of legislative initiatives and policy. 

Malloy said he has been responsible for working with government agencies, nonprofit organizations and victim advocacy groups to promote passage of a number of new state laws that "aid in the protection of victims, including the areas of child abuse, domestic violence, financial crimes, gun crimes, and human trafficking."

Ambrose was the unanimous first choice by the Victim Advocate Advisory Committee, a panel statutorily required to consider and interview candidates for the position and provide recommendation to the governor.

“Garvin comes to us with a notable background, working on behalf of victims and advocating for the policy changes that are necessary to preserve their rights and serve their needs,” Malloy said.  “The Victim Advocate is responsible for public education and advocacy.He will work directly with criminal justice professionals at every level to protect victims’ rights as guaranteed under the Connecticut Constitution and state statutes. Since 1996, Connecticut has adopted a number of laws to ensure that victims’ rights are protected and that their concerns are addressed by all professionals within the criminal justice system. I look forward to working with Garvin in our efforts to protect the interests of victims in their efforts to seek justice.”

The state’s Victim Advocate operates as the ombudsman between victims of crime and the criminal justice system and evaluates the delivery of state services to victims.  Responsibilities also include recommending system-wide improvements to the General Assembly, working with private and public agencies to enforce the constitutional rights of victims, and filing appearances in court to advocate for victims.

“I would like to thank Governor Malloy and his administration, the Advisory Committee, Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy, my wife Toya, and my family for their trust and support,” Ambrose said.  “I look forward to collaborating and continuing to build those necessary relationships with victims, lawmakers, law enforcement, advocacy groups, and service providers to ensure that the voices of all victims are recognized and heard, but most importantly that their rights are enforced.”

Previously, Ambrose served as Assistant State’s Attorney for the Juvenile Justice Bureau of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he was responsible for conversing with victims on a daily basis to seek their input on criminal cases during all aspects of trial preparation.

He earned his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Southeast Missouri State University and his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

The Victim Advocate serves a four-year term.  He replaces Michelle Cruz, whose term expired in April 2012.

A timetable for legislative confirmation has not been released yet.

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