Massachusetts Attorney General

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Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Seal of Massachusetts.svg
MarthaCoakley Suffolk Feb2014.jpg
Incumbent
Martha Coakley
since January 17, 2007
Style Her Honor
Term length Four years
Inaugural holder Paul Dudley
Formation 1702
Website www.mass.gov/ago/

The Massachusetts Attorney General is an elected constitutionally defined executive officer of the Massachusetts Government. The officeholder is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The officeholder also acts as an advocate and resource for the Commonwealth and its residents in many areas, including consumer protection, combating fraud and corruption, protecting civil rights, and promoting meaningful economic recovery. The current Attorney General is Martha Coakley. Attorney General Elect, Maura Healey will succeed Coakley in January 2015.

History[edit]

When the state constitution was first enacted, the Attorney General was appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Governor's Council. The office was abolished in 1843 and re-established in 1849. In 1855 the constitution was amended so that the Attorney General (along with a number of other constitutionally enumerated offices) was elected by the people. The length of the term of office has matched that of the governor, and elections are held concurrently with those for other constitutional office. Elections were first held annually, became biennial (every two years) in 1920, and quadrennial (every four years) in 1966.

Organization[edit]

The Office of the Attorney General is organized into five Bureaus: Executive; Business and Labor; Criminal; Government; and Public Protection and Advocacy. Each bureau is divided into divisions and teams. These Bureaus and Divisions have distinct missions, but work closely together to ensure the Attorney General’s Office provides the highest level of public protection.

List of Attorneys General[edit]

No. Attorney General Term Party
1 Paul Dudley July 1702 - November 1718
2 John Valentine November 1718 - June 1720
3 Thomas Newton June 1720 - May 1721
Vacant Vacant May 1721 - June 1722
4 John Overing June 1722 - June 1723
5 Vacant June 1723 - June 1725
6 John Read June 1725 – June 1728
7 Joseph Hiller June 1728 – June 1729
8 John Overing June 1729 – June 1749
9 Edmund Trowbridge June 1749 – March 1767
10 Jeremiah Gridley 1731 JeremiahGridley byJohnSmibert Harvard.jpeg March 1767 - September 1767
11 Vacant September 1767 - November 1767
12 Jonathan Sewall November 1767 - September 1774
13 Vacant September 1774 - June 1777
14 Robert Treat Paine Robert Treat Paine portrait.jpg June 19, 1778–1790
15 James Sullivan James Sullivan.jpg 1790–1807 Democratic-Republican
16 Barnabas Bidwell BarnabasBidwellByJohnBrewsterJr.jpg June 15, 1807 – August 30, 1810 Democratic-Republican
17 Perez Morton PerezMorton byFevretDeSaintMemin.png 1810–1832 Democratic-Republican
18 James T. Austin 1832–1843 National Republican Party
Vacant Office Abolished from 1843 to 1849.
19 John H. Clifford JohnHClifford.jpg 1849–1853 Whig
20 Rufus Choate RufusChoate.jpg 1853 – May 12, 1854 Whig
21 John H. Clifford JohnHClifford.jpg 1854–1858 Whig
22 Stephen Henry Phillips Stephen Henry Phillips.jpg 1858–1861 Republican
23 Dwight Foster Dwight Foster (1828–1884).png 1861–1864 Republican
24 Chester I. Reed 1864 – April 20, 1867 Republican
25 Charles Allen Charles Allen (jurist).png 1867–1872
26 Charles R. Train CRTrain.jpg 1872–1879 Republican
27 George Marston 1879–1883
28 Edgar J. Sherman Edgar J. Sherman.png 1883 - October 1, 1887 Republican
29 Andrew J. Waterman 1887–1891 Republican
30 Albert E. Pillsbury Albert E. Pillsbury.png 1891–1894 Republican
31 Hosea M. Knowlton Hosea M. Knowlton cph.3b32615.jpg 1894–1902 Republican
32 Herbert Parker Herbert Parker.png 1902–1906 Republican
33 Dana Malone Dana Malone.png 1906–1911 Republican
34 James M. Swift James M. Swift.png 1911–1914 Republican
35 Thomas J. Boynton Thomas J. Boynton (Massachusetts).png 1914–1915 Democratic
36 Henry Converse Atwill Henry Converse Atwill.png 1915–1919 Republican
Acting Henry A. Wyman 1919–1920
37 J. Weston Allen J. Weston Allen.png 1920–1923 Republican
38 Jay R. Benton Jay R. Benton.png 1923–1927 Republican
39 Arthur K. Reading Reading-Arthur 002a.png 1927 - June 6, 1928 Republican
40 Joseph E. Warner Joseph E. Warner .png 1928–1935 Republican
41 Paul A. Dever 1935–1941 Democratic
42 Robert T. Bushnell 1941–1945 Republican
43 Clarence A. Barnes 1945–1949 Republican
44 Francis E. Kelly 1949–1953 Democratic
45 George Fingold 1953 - August 31, 1958 Republican
46 Edward J. McCormack, Jr. September 11, 1958 - January 1963 Democratic
47 Edward Brooke Edward Brooke.jpg January 1963–January 2, 1967 Republican
Interim Edward T. Martin January 2, 1967 – January 18, 1967 Republican
48 Elliot Richardson ElliotLeeRichardson.jpg January 18, 1967 – January 1969 Republican
49 Robert H. Quinn January 1969 – January 1975 Democratic
50 Francis X. Bellotti January 1975 – January 1987 Democratic
51 James Shannon James Shannon.jpg January 1987 – January 1991 Democratic
52 L. Scott Harshbarger Scott Harshbarger2.jpg January 1991 – January 1999 Democratic
53 Thomas Reilly January 1999 – January 2007 Democratic
54 Martha Coakley Coakleycrop.jpg January 2007 – Present Democratic
55 Maura Healey (Attorney General Elect) Maura Healey.jpg January 2015 Democratic

References[edit]

External links[edit]