Attorney General of Illinois

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Illinois Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $78,223,700
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Illinois Constitution, Article V, Section 1
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Lisa Madigan.jpg
Name:  Lisa Madigan
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 13, 2003
Compensation:  $156,541
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Illinois Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorComptrollerSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture DirectorInsurance DirectorNatural Resources DirectorLabor DirectorIllinois Commerce Commission
The Attorney General of Illinois is the highest legal officer of the state of Illinois. Originally an appointed office, it is now an office filled by election through universal suffrage. Based in Chicago and Springfield, he or she is responsible for providing legal counsel for the various state agencies including the Governor of Illinois and Illinois General Assembly. He or she also conducts all legal affairs pertaining to the state.[1]

The position of Illinois Attorney General was established December 3, 1818, based on guidelines adopted by a state constitutional convention. The first person to fulfill the duties of the office was Daniel Pope Cook, who only served 11 days. He was later elected to the United States Congress; Cook County was named in his honor.[2]

Current officeholder

The current attorney general is Democrat Lisa Madigan. Madigan was first elected to the office in 2002 and was sworn in January 13, 2003. Madigan has been re-elected three times since, in 2006, 2010 and 2014.[3]

Prior to serving statewide office, Madigan was a litigator for the Chicago-based law firm of Sachnoff & Weaver. She has also worked as a teacher and community organizer, developing after-school programs to help prevent young children from becoming involved in drugs and gangs.[3]


The attorney general's office is authorized by Article V, Section 1 of the Illinois Constitution.

Article V, Section 1

Officers: The Executive Branch shall include a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller and Treasurer elected by the electors of the State. They shall keep the public records and maintain a residence at the seat of government during their terms of office.


To be eligible to hold the office of attorney general, a person must be:

Note: These standard qualifications apply to all of Illinois' constitutional executive offices, including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer.


Illinois state government organizational chart

Under Article V, Section 2 of the state constitution, the attorney general shall hold office for four years beginning on the second Monday of January after their election and until their successors are qualified. They shall be elected at the general election in 1978 and every four years thereafter.


See also: Illinois Attorney General election, 2014
Attorney General of Illinois, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngLisa Madigan Incumbent 59.5% 2,142,558
     Republican Paul Schimpf 37.8% 1,360,763
     Libertarian Ben Koyl 2.8% 99,903
Total Votes 3,603,224
Election Results via Illinois State Board of Elections.


Article V, Section 7 of the Illinois Constitution addresses vacancies in the office of attorney general. If the attorney general's office becomes vacant, the governor will appoint a replacement to serve until a successor is duly elected.


As per the Illinois Constitution, "the attorney general shall be the legal officer of the State, and shall have the duties and powers that may be prescribed by law."(Illinois Constitution, Article V § 15)

The job of the attorney general is to:[4]

  • Advocate on behalf of all of the people of Illinois;
  • Legislate with members of the General Assembly for new laws; and
  • Litigate to ensure state laws are followed and respected.


The Illinois Attorney General's Office has 11 division areas of service:[5]

Campaign finance

Main article: Campaign finance requirements for Illinois ballot measures

The Attorney General of Illinois is responsible for prosecuting campaign finance complaints on a case-by-case basis. Campaign finance reports can be referred to the attorney general at any time regardless if it involves criminal or civil law from the Illinois State Board of Elections.[6]

State budget

See also: Illinois state budget and finances

The budget for the Office of the Attorney General in Fiscal Year 2012 was $78,223,700[7]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected executives in Illinois are determined by the Illinois State Legislature as mandated in the state constitution. Article V, Section 21 of the Illinois Constitution also notes that executives cannot receive additional compensation beyond their salaries nor can their salaries be changed during current terms:

Article V, Section 21 of the Illinois Constitution

Text of Section 21:


Officers of the Executive Branch shall be paid salaries established by law and shall receive no other compensation for their services. Changes in the salaries of these officers elected or appointed for stated terms shall not take effect during the stated terms.[8]


In 2014, the attorney general received a salary of $156,541, according to the Council of State Governments.[9]


In 2013, the attorney general received a salary of $156,541. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[10]


In 2012, the attorney general was paid an estimated $156,541. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the attorney general was paid an estimated $156,600 according to the Council of State Governments.[11]

Historical officeholders

There have been 41 Illinois Attorneys General general since 1819.[12]

List of Former Officeholders from 1819-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 Daniel Pope Cook 1819 - 1819
2 William Mears 1819 - 1821
3 Samuel D. Lockwood 1821 - 1823
4 James Turney 1823 - 1829
5 George Forquer 1829 - 1832
6 James Semple 1833 - 1834
7 Ninian W. Edwards 1834 - 1835
8 Jesse B. Thomas, Jr. 1835 - 1836
9 Walter B. Scates 1836 - 1837
10 Usher F. Linder 1837 - 1838
11 George W. Olney 1838 - 1839
12 Wickliffe Kitchell 1839 - 1840
13 Josiah Lamborn 1840 - 1843
14 James A. McDougall 1843 - 1846
15 David B. Campbell 1846 - 1848
16 Robert G. Ingersoll 1867 - 1869 Ends.png Republican
17 Washington Bushnell 1869 - 1873
18 James K. Edsall 1873 - 1881
19 James McCartney 1881 - 1885
20 George Hunt 1885 - 1893
21 Maurice T. Moloney 1893 - 1897
22 Edward C. Akin 1897 - 1901
23 Howland J. Hamlin 1901 - 1905
24 William H. Stead 1905 - 1913
25 Patrick J. Lucey 1912 - 1917
26 Edward J. Brundage 1917 - 1925
27 Oscar E. Carlstrom 1925 - 1933
28 Otto Kerner 1933 - 1938
29 John Edward A. Cassidy 1938 - 1941
30 George F. Barrett 1941 - 1949
31 Ivan A. Elliott 1949 - 1953
32 Latham Castle 1953 - 1959
33 Grenville Beardsley 1959 - 1960
34 William L. Guild 1960 - 1961
35 William G. Clark 1961 - 1969
36 William J. Scott 1969 - 1980
37 Tyrone C. Fahner 1980 - 1983
38 Neil F. Hartigan 1983 - 1991 Electiondot.png Democratic
39 Roland W. Burris 1991 - 1995 Electiondot.png Democratic
40 Jim Ryan 1995 - 2003 Ends.png Republican
41 Lisa Madigan 2003 - Present Electiondot.png Democratic

Recent news

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Attorney General of Illinois - Google News Feed

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Contact Info


Capitol Address:
Office of Attorney General
100 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: (312) 814-3000
Toll Free Phone: (800) 964-3013

See also

External links

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