The Pennsylvania State Senate unanimously confirmed the nominations of Michelle Henry as Attorney General and Col. Christopher Paris as State Police Commissioner.
Confirmation required a two-thirds vote of the 50-member chamber.
“This is a powerful vote of confidence in our work and I am humbled to lead the dedicated team in the Office of Attorney General on behalf of every Pennsylvanian,” said Henry. “Consumers, victims, and our partners in law enforcement now rely on the Office in record numbers, and with this vote, we can continue to be the independent, fearless, and trusted voice Pennsylvanians have come to expect. There will be big challenges over the next two years, and, as your Attorney General, I promise we will step up and always have Pennsylvanians’ backs.”
Henry, 53, was nominated to fill out the remainder of Gov. Josh Shapiro’s term. Henry has risen from intern in the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office to now serve as the chief law enforcement officer for the Commonwealth.
“Michelle Henry has the experience, talent, and dedication to the pursuit of justice that Pennsylvania needs in the Attorney General’s office – and that’s why I nominated her to serve out the remainder of my term,” said Shapiro. “By confirming her nomination, the Senate has guaranteed that Pennsylvanians have an Attorney General who will fight for them. I look forward to working with Attorney General Henry to build safer communities and protect the rights of Pennsylvanians.”
Before serving as First Deputy Attorney General, Henry dedicated over 20 years of her career to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office – taking on critical jobs including Chief of Major Crimes, Chief of Child Abuse, and First Assistant. She was appointed Bucks County District Attorney with a bipartisan vote in 2008.
The Attorney General is the state’s top law enforcement officer and operates with a wide range of responsibilities to protect and serve the citizens and agencies of the Commonwealth. The Attorney General leads a staff of several hundred prosecutors, attorneys, investigators, agents and support staff in offices across the state, divided into four divisions: the Criminal Law Division, the Public Protection Division, the Civil Division and the Operations Division.
Paris enlisted in the Pennsylvania State Police in 1999, beginning his career as a Trooper assigned to Troop K, Skippack. As he progressed through the ranks, he served in Troop K, Philadelphia; the Bureau of Training and Education; Troop R, Dunmore; the Department Discipline Office; the Bureau of Integrity and Professional Standards; the Executive Office as the Deputy Commissioner of Administration and Professional Responsibility. Most recently, he served as the Commander of Area III.
“I’m humbled at the opportunity. It’s a surreal experience having been in here as a 22-year-old cadet, sitting in these chairs. To be asked and given the opportunity to serve in this capacity is a humbling and surreal experience,” Paris said.
He is a 1998 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Scranton, a 2004 graduate of Temple University Law School, and a graduate of the 267th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. Paris has passed the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bar exams and is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar.
Colonel Paris exercises command, administrative, and fiscal authority over the Pennsylvania State Police, which is the 10th largest police agency in the United States, serving a population of more than 3.3 million residents over a 36,000 square-mile area. He oversees a budget of more than $1.5 billion and commands a statewide complement of approximately 6,500 enlisted and civilian employees, which includes an authorized complement of 4,740 State Police Troopers.