Philip James Degnan

Executive Director


Philip James Degnan became Executive Director of the State Commission of Investigation on May 9, 2011.  As Executive Director, Mr. Degnan is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the SCI and the oversight of the investigations conducted by the SCI in the areas of organized crime, public corruption, public safety, and the administration of justice in the State of New Jersey.   

From 2004 until his appointment to the Commission, Mr. Degnan served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, handling a variety of key Criminal Division responsibilities.  While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Degnan served in the Public Protection Unit and successfully prosecuted cases involving child exploitation, narcotics trafficking, weapons possession, immigration offenses, bank robberies and other federal crimes.  His final assignment with the U.S. Attorney’s Office was with the National Security Unit where he served as coordinator of the inter-agency Counterproliferation Working Group for the District of New Jersey.  As part of his work with National Security Unit and the Counterproliferation Working Group, Mr. Degnan handled matters involving national security and U.S. foreign policy, including the prosecution of numerous individuals for exporting or attempting to export U.S. military technology and other regulated items from the United States to China and other countries.

Mr. Degnan began his legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. Richard Newman, New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, and to the late Hon. Daniel J. O’Hern, Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.  In 1998, upon completion of his clerkships, Mr. Degnan became a litigation associate with the Newark-based firm of Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, now Gibbons P.C., working in the firm’s civil litigation and criminal defense practice groups.  

Since 2007, Mr. Degnan has been a member of the State Supreme Court’s Committee on Criminal Practice.  He also took part in the Essex County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Education Law Program from 2000 to 2004 and was a member of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights Asylum Program from 2001 to 2004.  In addition, he has served as a volunteer with All Stars Project Inc., Development School for Youth since 2006.  Mr. Degnan graduated Davidson College in North Carolina and received his law degree from Seton Hall University Law School in Newark.


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Waste and Abuse in Local Government Employee Compensation and Benefits

Gangs in New Jersey Prisons

Alarming Contracts in the Purchase of Fire Trucks in New Jersey

The Integrity of Electronic Voting

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