Chris Abruzzo Takes Over As Interim DEP Secretary

E. Christopher Abruzzo, Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Tom Corbett, took over this week as Acting Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection.  He is expected to hold the position until Gov. Corbett names a new Secretary.

In his inaugural note to DEP employees, Abruzzo said Wednesday--

“I want to take a moment to express how pleased I am to have joined the DEP team. As a deputy chief of staff to the Governor, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Secretary Krancer and many at DEP over the last two years on a significant number of issues and initiatives. I fully appreciate the great work being done by the DEP team each and every day, and I am honored to have been asked to serve as Acting Secretary. Having worked in the Office of Attorney General for 15 years, I understand the culture of an agency filled with dedicated professionals who could work anywhere, but choose to do the work they love protecting the Commonwealth and its citizens.

“It goes without saying that DEP’s core mission is a very special one, and I will do my best to support this mission each and every day while I am Acting Secretary. So that there is no misunderstanding, I will be committing all of my time and energy to this new assignment. The hard-working men and women of DEP deserve nothing less. My colleagues in the Governor’s office are handling my deputy chief of staff duties, so I am fully committed and engaged as the Acting Secretary of this proud agency.

“I’m sure many of you have ideas about how to successfully accomplish our core mission and new ways of doing things—I want to hear them. I’m making my way around each floor in the Rachel Carson building in the next few weeks to introduce myself, and I will be visiting the regional offices, as well. I look forward to meeting all of you and working together to keep DEP moving forward.”


Prior to his appointment as the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Abruzzo was a Chief Deputy Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, supervisor of the Drug Strike Force Section.  In that capacity, Abruzzo oversaw all drug related prosecutions conducted by the Attorney General’s Drug Strike Force Section in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  This includes grand jury and wiretap investigations conducted by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigations as well as by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Abruzzo served as the Attorney General’s principal legal adviser on electronic surveillance matters and wiretap applications made pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act.

Abruzzo served as a senior deputy district attorney in the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office from 1992 thru 1996 where he prosecuted a wide variety of criminal offenses, but specialized in drug prosecutions.

He joined the Office of Attorney General in 1996 and was assigned to the Criminal Prosecutions Section and the Medicaid Fraud Control Section before being appointed to his current position with the Drug Strike Force by Attorney General Tom Corbett in 2005.

Abruzzo has lectured across the country on white collar criminal prosecutions and investigations. He also serves as an instructor for the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association and the Pennsylvania TopGun drug investigation and prosecution training course.

Abruzzo is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dauphin County Victim Witness Assistance Program and has been a member of its board of directors since 1993.

Abruzzo also serves as the Chairman of the Derry Township Board of Supervisors in Dauphin County.

Abruzzo received his bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s University and his J.D. from the Widener University School of Law.

Abruzzo is married with three children and resides in Hershey, Pa.


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