About the Office

The Office of 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. In 1842 the Rhode Island Constitution formally adopted the Office of Attorney General.

The Office, established under the Rhode Island Constitution, is 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 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 fighting corruption.

As the central legal agency of the State, the Office of 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 agencies.

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

Please note: the Office of Attorney General cannot provide you with legal advice or legal referrals. If you are seeking answers to legal questions, need someone to help you find a law or case, or need someone to take your case to court, you will need to find a private attorney. For information on choosing and using a lawyer, you may wish to visit the Rhode Island Bar Association’s website.

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin

Peter Kilmartin was elected the 73rd Attorney General of Rhode Island on November 4, 2010. His promise to enhance the economic security of Rhode Island, protect the public safety of our communities and families and restoring the public trust in state government resonated with the people of Rhode Island.

A native Rhode Islander, Peter grew up in the city of Pawtucket where he attended the same neighborhood public schools at which his father Frank taught. His mother and father taught him, as well as his three brothers, the importance of honesty, community and hard work at an early age.

After graduating from Tolman High School, Peter decided that he wanted to protect and serve the community in which he grew up. In 1984, Peter enrolled in the police academy, For 24 years, Peter served his community as a member of the Pawtucket Police Department, starting as an officer on patrol, working his way up to becoming the officer in charge of prosecutions and retiring as a Captain.

Kilmartin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Roger Williams University, and later earned his Juris Doctorate at Roger Williams University School of Law.

As a police officer, Peter Kilmartin knew that he didn’t just want to protect the public, he wanted to be their advocate. He decided to run for state representative, and at the State House he fought to protect Rhode Islanders for nearly 20 years.

As a state representative, Peter helped pass laws that protect children from predators, created a witness protection program, ban texting while driving, keep alcohol out of cars, put an end to pension abuses, strengthen domestic violence penalties and force health insurance companies to cover reconstructive surgery for women following breast cancer mastectomies.

Recognizing his devotion to fighting for the protection of everyday Rhode Islanders, Peter has received numerous public service awards from a wide array of groups, including: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), After-School Alliance Plus, Justice Assistance, the Boys and Girls Club, Gateway Health Care and the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce.

Since being elected Attorney General, Kilmartin has continued to put Rhode Islanders’ safety and security as his number one priority. Peter has strongly advocated for longer prison sentences and stiffer penalties for criminals. He successfully changed the state’s “Good Time” law, prohibiting those who commit heinous crimes against children to earn time off for good behavior while incarcerated. He has advocated for stronger and stiffer sentences for people who illegally possess and use firearms, as well as those who engage in gang activity.

Kilmartin has established specialized prosecution units that focus on specific crimes and victims, including a Veteran’s Court with the goal of successfully rehabilitating veterans by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and providing them the tools they will need to lead a productive, law-abiding life. In addition, Kilmartin established a Child Abuse Unit, led by prosecutors, victim advocates and support staff, all trained to handle the emotional and psychological effects associated with physical and sexual abuse of children.

Peter led the way to bring greater transparency to government, which led to the first major update to the state’s Access to Public Records Act in more than 15 years. In addition, Peter has filed multiple lawsuits against public bodies for violating the state’s public access laws.

Kilmartin serves in several leadership positions with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), including liaison to the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP), vice-chair for the Eastern Region, co-chair for NAAG’s Criminal Law Committee and serves on the Law Enforcement and Prosecutorial Relations Working Group and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Peter’s leadership role with NAAG led to the IAP hosting its North American and Caribbean conference in Providence, where top law enforcement officials discussed strategies to combat human trafficking, intellectual property theft, cybercrime, and weapons and drug trafficking.

Peter and his wife Kristine have been married for 15 years and are actively involved in the community. Together, they founded the Pawtucket Arts Festival in 1999, which draws thousands of people from all across Southern New England to Pawtucket every year, serving as an economic and cultural boon to the Rhode Island economy.

Employment

The Office of Attorney General, unlike many offices, agencies, and bureaus of the State, has a workforce that is fully unclassified and whose employees are not represented by bargaining units. However, as a result of the Department’s commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the Department continues to uphold non-discriminatory selection policies and practices. The Office of Attorney General continuously receives resumes from individuals interested in employment with this office. Ongoing interviews are held and a pool of qualified applicants is maintained. When an opening occurs, candidates are selected from the applicant pool and recommended for further consideration. After the interview process, recommendations are then made to the Attorney General after which a final interview is conducted and a selection is made.

The Office will continue to maintain an applicant pool to ensure that all persons, regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, handicap/disability status, Veteran status or sexual orientation, are considered for employment. All applications and resumes for both attorney and non-attorney positions should be sent directly and only to the Attorney General.

To submit a resume and letter of interest, please mail to:
The Honorable Peter F. Kilmartin
Attorney General
150 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903

Internship Opportunities

Our Internship Program will provide you with the opportunity to learn, network and participate in the effective and efficient functioning of the Office of Attorney General. Internships allow you to extend your knowledge beyond the classroom and give you the chance to apply that knowledge to the real world.

To learn more about our Internship Program, please contact:
Teresa A. Letourneau
Internship Program Coordinator
(401) 274-4400 ext. 2248
internship@riag.ri.gov