September 13, 2023 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner announced today the appointment of Christina Nowak as the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of the Office of Policing Reform and Accountability for the City of Houston. Nowak will investigate complaints and work closely with the Independent Police Oversight Board (IPOB).
A native Houstonian raised in Alief, Nowak obtained her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and her Juris Doctor from the South Texas College of Law. She replaces Crystal Okorafor, whom Mayor Turner appointed in 2021 as the City's first DIG. Okorafor resigned for a position in the private sector.
"The Deputy Inspector General will help organize gun buybacks and other aspects of the One Safe Houston initiative, which has reduced crime. Nowak also will serve as an ombudsman for the citizens of Houston, which is key to restoring and maintaining the public's confidence," said Mayor Turner. "I look forward to working with her. She has the background and experience to take this role to the next level."
Nowak started her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County in New York City, prosecuting narcotics cases and specializing in the prosecution of gangs and homicides. After her decade-long career as a prosecutor, she joined the New York City Department of Education's Office of Special Investigations as Deputy Director, overseeing investigations of complaints for one of the largest school districts in the country. From there, she joined the New York City Fire Department as Deputy Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. She acted in an oversight capacity pursuant to a federal monitor for that division.
Upon moving back to Houston in 2021, she joined the City of Houston as a Senior Investigative Attorney in the Office of Inspector General, where she focused on investigating complaints within the Houston Fire Department.
"I want to thank Mayor Turner for entrusting me with this role. My predecessor was able to take huge strides in achieving the mayor's goals of making Houston a safer place. I look forward to continuing to break ground with One Safe Houston to increase trust, fairness, justice, and mutual respect between our police department and the community," said Nowak.