AG Cooper names new consumer protection chief
Release date: 4/13/2010
Raleigh: Attorney General Roy Cooper has named a new director for state efforts to protect North Carolina consumers.
Adam Hartzell, 40, will serve as Senior Deputy Attorney General of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. He is expected to start the job in May.
Hartzell is currently the executive director of Interact, a non-profit agency that serves more than 40,000 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault each year. He previously practiced law in Wake County, focusing on family, business, franchise, contract and employment law, and has also worked as a journalist covering Wall Street.
“This tough economy makes avoiding scams and spending wisely even more important for North Carolina consumers,” Cooper said. “Adam will help us continue our fight against unfair business practices on behalf of North Carolinians.”
As head of Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division, Hartzell will oversee a staff of more than 50 including attorneys, consumer specialists and investigators, and support personnel. The division handles complaints from North Carolina consumers, including more than 22,000 complaints last year alone. Common sources of complaints include health care, unfair loans, telemarketing fraud, and foreclosure and debt relief scams.
Specialists offer consumers tips and work to resolve complaints through mediation. Where there is a pattern of illegal business practices, attorneys can enforce the law on behalf of all North Carolina consumers. Over the past decade, Cooper’s consumer protection experts have helped thousands of consumers get more than $80 million back.
In addition to handling consumer protection, antitrust and telemarketing fraud cases, the Consumer Division also includes the Victims and Citizens Services, which oversees the Address Confidentiality Program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking and organizes the department’s outreach efforts on topics like Internet safety and identity theft.
Hartzell will succeed Julie Brill as Senior Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Protection. Brill was appointed by President Obama to serve as a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission and had to leave the Attorney General’s Office this month to begin serving in her new post.
Hartzell holds a law degree from Campbell University and an undergraduate degree from American University. He is a native of High Point. He has received numerous awards including the 40 Under 40 Leadership Award from the Triangle Business Journal in 2008. He lives in Raleigh, where he is active in his church and community.
Contact: Noelle Talley, (919) 716-6413