DC's new attorney general talks juvenile crime, zoning decisions and Washington Commanders investigations

The new D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb was sworn in on Monday, and FOX 5 got a chance to sit down one-on-one with him to learn more about his plans to address juvenile crime in the District and protect Washingtonian's wallets.

Former AG Karl Racine made history as the first elected attorney general in the District. He molded the office into what it is today, including making the bold choice to stop defending the city's zoning decisions.

Some have argued this has led to gentrification, kicking minorities out and less affordable housing. The decision also carved a divide with the mayor's office.

READ MORE: DC attorney general puts an end to one housing developer's discriminatory tactics

Schwalb says he's not sure yet if the policy will continue.

"I want to make sure that the people that have lived in this city for generations, people who built our city, if they want to, can afford to stay in our city," he says. "I've heard from so many people that they've lived through the poverty of our city, and they're entitled to stay for the prosperity. I think that's right."

Racine and Mayor Muriel Bowser were at times publicly critical of each other, particularly when it came to prosecuting juveniles and surges in carjackings. Schwalb says the relationship between the AG and mayor naturally has some tension.

"I think an independent attorney general is also something the voters voted for understanding that it's good government having checks and balances of an independent attorney general that is responsive not to the mayor but to the votes. And that creates tension inevitably," he says.

When it comes to tackling juvenile crime, Schwalb says he wants to get at the root of the problem.

"That's what the office of attorney general is going to be committed to doing, both addressing crime after it occurs and trying to get to the root causes that prevent cycles of crime from starting in the first place," he says. "We know that some of the root causes for crime such as housing instability economic inequities, discrimination, are things the office of attorney general in our civil jurisdiction's primary focus on."

READ MORE: Does DC's attorney general have authority to investigate Commanders?

Schwalb says he is reviewing all ongoing cases brought by Racine including the two civil lawsuits against the Washington Commanders. One lawsuit addresses possible financial misconduct in ticket sales and the other deals with misleading the public about the culture of sexual harassment within the organization.

Schwalb says he will decide whether to continue those suits but said he has the utmost confidence in the former AG's decision to bring cases.