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History

The Office of the Attorney General was first created in Rhode Island in May 1650. Since its inception, the office has been an elected position, except for a brief period from 1740 to 1742 when the charter allowed for the appointment of a King’s attorney for each county. The office of the Attorney General was formally adopted under the Rhode Island State Constitution in 1842.

The Office is established under the Rhode Island Constitution as one of the five general officers subject to election by voters. The powers and duties of the Attorney General are derived from Article IX, Section 12 of the Constitution of the State of Rhode Island; Chapter 9 of Title 42 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, as amended; and the Common Law.

The Office is divided into three distinct divisions: Criminal, Civil and Administration; and four budget programs: Criminal, Civil, General, and the Bureau of Criminal Identification.

Major Responsibilities

The Attorney General is the top legal official in Rhode Island. As the state’s top prosecutor, the Attorney General fights to enhance the economic security of Rhode Island, protect the public safety of our communities and restore the public trust in state government by taking on corruption.

As the central legal agency of the State, the Office of the Attorney General is responsible for prosecution of all felony criminal cases and misdemeanor appeals, as well as prosecution of misdemeanor cases brought by state law enforcement action in the various district courts.

Additionally, as chief legal officer of the state, the Attorney General represents all agencies, departments and commissions in litigation and initiates legal action where necessary to protect the interests of Rhode Island citizens.

The Office of the Attorney General is also charged with operating and maintaining the State Bureau of Criminal Identification, which is the central repository for all criminal records in the State.

Executive Division & Administrative Division

The Executive and Administrative divisions of the Office of Attorney General consist of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General Gerald J. Coyne, Chief of Staff Ernie Carlucci, Director of Administration Christopher Cotta, and support staff. The division provides the general management and direction for the Office and implements policies, programs and legislation aimed at keeping Rhode Island communities safe and secure.

Civil Division

Jim Lee

Assistant Attorney General, Division Chief

Criminal Division

Stacey Veroni

Assistant Attorney General, Division Chief

Bureau of Criminal Identification