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Attorney General of Nebraska

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Nebraska Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-13 FY Budget:  $5,795,369
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Four years
Authority:  Nebraska Constitution, Article IV, Section I
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Doug Peterson.jpg
Name:  Doug Peterson
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 8, 2015
Compensation:  $95,000
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Nebraska Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture DirectorInsurance DirectorNatural Resources DirectorLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Attorney General of Nebraska is the chief representative for legal matters of for the state of Nebraska. The attorney general is separated into the civil litigation bureau, criminal bureau, legal services bureau and the public protection bureau. The duties and authority of the office are derived from the state constitution, statutory enactments and common law.[1]

Current officeholder

The current attorney general is Doug Peterson (R). He was first elected in 2014 and was sworn into office on January 8, 2015..[2]


The state Constitution addresses the office of attorney general in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Under Article IV, Section I:

The executive officers of the state shall be the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and the heads of such other executive departments as set forth herein or as may be established by law.


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches the constitutional or statutory text that establishes the requirements necessary to qualify for a state executive office. That information for the Attorney General of Nebraska has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.


Nebraska state government organizational chart

The Office of Attorney General is a publicly elected position with elections held every four years. Elections are held in November and officers assume their duties the following January. (Nebraska Constitution, Article IV § 1)



See also: Nebraska Attorney General election, 2014
Attorney General of Nebraska, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDoug Peterson 66.1% 339,846
     Democratic Janet Stewart 33.9% 174,614
Total Votes 514,460
Election Results via Nebraska Secretary of State.

Term limits

There are no term limits for the office of Nebraksa Attorney General.

Full History


As established by Article IV, Section 11 of the Nebraska Constitution, in the event of a vacancy in the office of attorney general, the governor fills the office by appointment. The appointee serves until a successor is elected and qualified.


General duties

Some of the general duties of the office of the attorney general include:[3]

  • Uphold and defend the Constitution and laws of the State of Nebraska;
  • Achieve a higher level of public safety and security by promoting vigorous prosecution of murderers, drug dealers, child abusers and other criminals;
  • Promote stronger law enforcement and reform in criminal procedure and criminal law;
  • Provide skilled assistance to local prosecutors in highly technical or complex cases involving murder, illegal drugs and the prosecution of child sexual abuse;
  • Prevent and prosecute consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices, and protect Nebraskans from fraudulent business activities and scams through educational outreach;
  • Uphold and protect the civil rights of all Nebraskans;
  • Defend Nebraska's interests in disputes with other states over irrigation water and stream flows;
  • Protect the public health and safety of Nebraskans by vigorously pursuing disciplinary actions against health care professionals who endanger the public by violations of health regulations or drug laws;
  • Provide professional legal representation in all civil proceedings on behalf of the state;
  • Reduce the time and resources devoted by the state to defending claims by inmates of correctional facilities.

Role in the initiative process

Unlike many states, Nebraska's initiative guidelines dictate that a ballot title is not issued until signatures are being verified. Thus the attorney general does not receive a copy of the ballot until the signatures are turned into the state four months prior to the election.

It is at this point that the attorney general will assign a ballot title to the initiative, which will be certified by the Nebraska Secretary of State.

The attorney general will then write a ballot question that summarizes the initiative in 100 words or less. The office is also in charge of writing the effect of a vote for or against the measure, both items which will appear on the ballot.

Ballot language court appeals

If any citizen believes the ballot language is not sufficient or fair, they may file in district court asking for the language to be changed. This must occur within ten days after the language is filed with the secretary of state.

If there aren't any appeal, then the language written by the attorney general is considered final and is issued to the secretary of state for official placement on the ballot.


  • Civil Litigation Bureau: this department works on civil rights claims, inmate litigation, worker's compensation, tort claim lawsuits, employment discrimination and equal opportunity commission.
  • Criminal Bureau: this department working on child protection, criminal appeals, domestic violence and internet safety.
  • Legal Services Bureau: provides legal advice to over 60 state agencies, boards, commissions, departments and offices. The department also is in charge of antitrust, probate, and escheat, and other specialized matters including election law and constitutional litigation. The Legal Services Bureau researches and drafts most attorney general opinions for review by the attorney general and also review rules and regulations for statutory authority and constitutionality.
  • Public Protection Bureau: enforces laws and regulations for agriculture, environment and natural resources. This department is also in charge of consumer protections; health and licensing; the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; Tobacco Enforcement; the Liquor Control Commission; One-Call Notification Act (the bureau files actions for civil penalties against individuals who fail to call the Digger’s Hotline prior to excavation of a pipeline site); and Administrative License Revocation.

Campaign finance

Main article: Campaign finance requirements for Nebraska ballot measures

The Attorney General of Nebraska is responsible for handling all prosecutions of criminal violations of Nebraska's campaign finance laws.[4] The first step in filing a complaint is to file with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. It is up to the NADC to determine probable cause of a complaint before the attorney general can move on with prosecution the case.[5] The NADC handles all civil law violations.[5]

State budget

See also: Nebraska state budget and finances

The budget for the attorney general's office in Fiscal Year 2012-13 was $5,795,369.[6]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected executive officials are set by the Nebraska State Legislature as mandated by the state constitution. Article IV, Section 25 states the following:

The officers provided for in this article shall receive such salaries as may be provided by law. Such officers, or such other officers as may be provided for by law, shall not receive for their own use any fees, costs, or interest upon public money in their hands.


In 2014, the attorney general earned a salary of $95,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2013, the attorney general was paid an estimated $95,000.[8]

Historical officeholders

There have been 33 Attorneys General of Nebraska since 1867. Of the 33 officeholders, 26 were Republican, six were Democratic and one was Democratic/Populist.[9]

List of Former Officeholders from 1867-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 Champion S. Chase 1867-1869 Ends.png Republican
2 Seth Robinson 1869-1871 Ends.png Republican
3 George H. Roberts 1871-1873 Ends.png Republican
4 Joseph R. Webster 1873-1875 Ends.png Republican
5 George H. Roberts 1875-1879 Ends.png Republican
6 C. J. Dilworth 1879-1883 Ends.png Republican
7 Isaac Powers Jr. 1883-1885 Ends.png Republican
8 William Leese 1885-1891 Ends.png Republican
9 George H. Hastings 1891-1895 Ends.png Republican
10 Arthur S. Churchill 1895-1897 Ends.png Republican
11 Constantine J. Smyth 1897-1901 Electiondot.png Democratic/Populist
12 Frank N. Prout 1901-1905 Ends.png Republican
13 Norris Brown 1905-1907 Ends.png Republican
14 William T. Thompson 1907-1910 Ends.png Republican
15 Arthur F. Mullen 1910-1911 Electiondot.png Democratic
16 Grant G. Martin 1911-1915 Ends.png Republican
17 Willis E. Reed 1915-1919 Electiondot.png Democratic
18 Clarence A. Davis 1919-1923 Ends.png Republican
19 Ora S. Spillman 1923-1929 Ends.png Republican
20 C. A. Sorensen 1929-1933 Ends.png Republican
21 Paul F. Good 1933-1935 Electiondot.png Democratic
22 William H. Wright 1935-1937 Electiondot.png Democratic
23 Richard C. Hunter 1937-1939 Electiondot.png Democratic
24 Walter R. Johnson 1939-1949 Ends.png Republican
25 James H. Anderson 1949-1950 Ends.png Republican
26 Clarence S. Beck 1950-1961 Ends.png Republican
27 Harold P. Caldwell 19516 Electiondot.png Democratic
28 Clarence A.H. Meyer 1961-1975 Ends.png Republican
29 Paul L. Douglas 1975-1984 Ends.png Republican
30 Robert M. Spire 1985-1991 Ends.png Republican
31 Don Stenberg 1991-2003 Ends.png Republican
32 Jon Bruning 2003-2015 Ends.png Republican
33 Doug Peterson 2015-present Ends.png Republican

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Nebraska Attorney General."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Attorney General of Nebraska - Google News Feed

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Contact information

Office of the Attorney General
2115 State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509

See also

External links

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