Delaware AG Beau Biden exits office quietly

 (NewsWorks file image)

(NewsWorks file image)

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden continued his trend of avoiding cameras and questions as he delivered his farewell address via this editorial, which can be found below in its entirety. 

Biden hasn’t made a public appearance since Return Day in November and hasn’t made a a public statement since last spring. Biden announced in April that he would not run for reelection and instead would run for governor in 2016. His replacement, Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, will be sworn in as Attorney General on Tuesday afternoon.

Here is Biden’s farewell statement submitted to WHYY/NewsWorks.

Serving as Delaware’s Attorney General for the last eight years has been the greatest honor of my life. I will never be able to thank the people of Delaware enough for this privilege. You allowed me to work with the talented men and women in the Delaware Department of Justice—extraordinary professionals whom I would stack up against any prosecutors in the United States. Their track record proves it: tireless work to protect children, get criminals off of our streets, and hold accountable those responsible for the housing crisis.  Working with our staff has been a genuine pleasure and their skill has allowed us to accomplish a great deal. My focus from the beginning has been to protect the most vulnerable among us—and no one is more vulnerable than our children.  That’s why one of my very first decisions was to create the Child Predator Task Force; the first unit of its kind in Delaware and one that has become a nationally-recognized leader.  And while it is best known for catching the pediatrician who’s been called the worst pedophile in the country—Earl Bradley is now serving 14 life sentences plus 164 years—that was just one demonstration of the Task Force’s impact. The Task Force puts dedicated police and prosecutors side by side, focusing every day on nothing but tracking down predators who seek to harm our children. In just eight years, we have convicted 214 predators and rescued 129 children from abusive situations.  For every high profile case like Bradley or school leaders, there are dozens of other convictions–less notorious but just as critical to the children saved.  In most cases, children cannot speak for themselves. Only 1 in 10 victimized children will report the abuse, even though 90 percent are being hurt by someone who claims to care for them. To shine a bright light on child abuse – and to make sure adults understand their legal and moral responsibility to speak up for children – we partnered with the Delaware YMCA and Prevent Child Abuse Delaware to train thousands to spot the signs a child is being harmed. Those efforts are paying off: calls to the state’s Child Abuse Hotline have more than doubled in the past eight years. Protecting the most vulnerable among us also means giving survivors of domestic violence the strong legal protections they need to help rebuild their lives. And it means speaking up for elderly Delawareans suffering from abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. I am proud that over the past eight years Delaware has made significant strides protecting survivors of domestic violence and their families. We have strengthened Delaware’s laws to punish those who take advantage of senior citizens. And we have given law enforcement important new tools to identify and rescue at-risk seniors. When I took office in 2007, the economic crisis caused by the collapse of the housing market had not yet happened. As the crisis exploded and the effects hit Delaware hard, Delaware homeowners and communities were vulnerable. Too many lost their home values—and their confidence in our system—because of the careless acts of others.  The public deserved accountability, so we at DOJ sought to get it. All over the state, I heard from struggling homeowners who could keep their homes only if the bank agreed to a mortgage modification. When those homeowners tried to call their banks, however, they either couldn’t figure out which institution owned their mortgage, or were stuck in 1-800-HELL and couldn’t get anyone to talk to them. We worked with the General Assembly to create the Delaware Mortgage Mediation Program to guarantee homeowners what they want and deserve: a chance to sit down, face-to-face, with their banker and have a meaningful conversation about alternatives to foreclosure. The housing crisis impacted every part of Delaware, and many of our families and communities are still struggling to recover. To help them, our office secured more than $185 million in fines from financial institutions responsible for the crisis. More than $100 million went straight back to those who were most harmed: providing financial benefits for Delawareans  like mortgage modifications, refinancing for underwater homeowners, and direct payments to foreclosure victims. Every day in this job I’ve tried to help protect so many who could not protect themselves. During that time, Delaware has become recognized as a national leader in the fight to protect our kids, our senior citizens, and those caught in the housing crisis. As my time as your Attorney General comes to an end, I feel good about what we have accomplished. In addition, I know that the important work of the DOJ is being passed to an excellent leader, Matt Denn. Matt is uniquely qualified to build on the DOJ’s past successes and will launch new, exciting endeavors of his own. Thank you for this tremendous honor. In return, I’ve tried to remain true to the core values I believe define public service: honesty, integrity, and doing right by the people I serve. And on a personal note, the overwhelming support you’ve shown my family over these eight years—particularly when I was overseas—is something we will never forget. Kindness like yours makes Delaware a special community; one that I hope to be able to serve again.

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