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An attorney with experience in both civil litigation and criminal prosecution has joined the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) as chief counsel in the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Bridgid Dowdal is a key appointment in the new office, according to Inspector General Jerry Kerber.
“Bridgid’s background will be an asset to our focus on fraud prevention, investigation and prosecution,” Kerber said. “She will analyze legal issues, develop strategies and lay the groundwork for not just more effective administrative and civil remedies for fraudulent practices, but also policy changes that will prevent fraud and overpayment cases in the future.”
The OIG oversees fraud investigation efforts in health care, cash assistance, child care assistance and food support programs, as well as the monitoring, investigation of maltreatment, and completion of background studies in licensed programs. It works closely with local law enforcement agencies, other state agencies, the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General, the U.S. Department of Justice, county attorneys, and others who have a role in combatting fraud and abuse.
Dowdal will be involved in the most complicated fraud cases. She has been a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, criminal federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota and attorney in a small, general private practice. Most recently, Dowdal was an assistant dean in the Office of Career and Professional Development at William Mitchell College of Law. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota and also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Boston University.
The OIG was created in August 2011 to put a stronger focus on fraud prevention and investigation. Previously these efforts were located in the DHS program areas they monitored.