James W. Heath
On August 27, 2012, James Heath was sworn in as the City of Detroit’s first Inspector General. Appointed by the Detroit City Council, he is charged with leading the Office of Inspector General. As Inspector General, he is responsible for carrying out the office’s charter mandated mission of “ensur[ing] honesty and integrity in City government by rooting out waste, abuse, fraud, and corruption.” Inspector General Heath leads an office staffed by forensic auditors, investigators, and attorneys. The office has jurisdiction over all City of Detroit employees, elected and appointed officials, department heads, and contractors and vendors. Citizens created the Office of Inspector General, an independent agency, by adopting the 2012 Charter of the City of Detroit. Inspector General Heath was appointed to a single, six-year term.
Mr. Heath previously served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Michigan Department of Attorney General where he prosecuted embezzlement, environmental, and fraud cases. Most notably, he led a team of investigators and attorneys focused on prosecuting fraud perpetrated against the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. Prior to joining the Criminal Division, he served in the Health Care Fraud Division. He gained valuable experience in prosecuting doctors, hospitals, and other health care organizations for defrauding the Michigan Medicaid program. In addition to litigating cases under the Medicaid Fraud statute, Mr. Heath handled prescription drug diversion and vulnerable adult abuse cases.
Prior to becoming an Assistant Attorney General, he worked as an Assistant Prosecutor in Wayne County as a member of the Public Integrity Unit. As a prosecutor, he litigated cases involving police officers and public officials as defendants. Before joining the Prosecutor’s Office, he worked as an associate in the firm Goldpaugh & Associates, PC, where he represented the Detroit Police Officer’s Association (DPOA) and its members in internal investigations, Garrity hearings, and criminal and civil litigation.
Active in the State Bar, Mr. Heath is a member of the Criminal Jurisprudence & Practice Committee, where he reviews statutes and court rules and makes recommendations concerning improvements in the operation of criminal law and procedure. In June 2012, James was elected as a member of the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly. The Representative Assembly is the final policy-making body of the bar. Mr. Heath has also been appointed as a member of the State Bar Character & Fitness Committee.
James and his wife Malika have two wonderful children, James and Karon. Malika Heath is an attorney with the State Appellate Defender’s Office. He received his BA from James Madison College at Michigan State University and his JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law.