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Attorney General of Georgia

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Georgia Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
FY Budget:  $59,813,68
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section 3, Paragraph I
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Sam Olens.jpg
Name:  Samuel S. Olens
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 10, 2011
Compensation:  $137,791
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Georgia Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of SchoolsAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Attorney General of Georgia is a state executive office established in 1797. The Georgia Constitution of 1868 made the attorney general a constitutional officer, and he became the legal adviser to the Governor of Georgia and the other departments of state government.

Current officeholder

The current attorney general is Samuel S. Olens, a Republican, who was first elected in the general election on November 2, 2010, and took office on January 10, 2011.

Olens' professional career has largely been spent as a lawyer with Ezor & Olens, P.C., from 1983 through 2010. Before becoming attorney general, Olens was also chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners from August 2002 to March 2010. Previously, he was a Cobb County District Commissioner from 1999 through July 2002. Olens served as chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission from December 2004 through 2009, and was vice-chair of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District from 2005 through March 2010. He also serves on the boards of "various non-profit organizations," including the Atlanta United Way.[1]

Olens holds bachelor's and master's degrees from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a law degree from the Emory University School of Law. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children.


The office of attorney general is established in the Georgia Constitution.

Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section 3, Paragraph I

The.. Attorney General... shall be elected in the manner prescribed for the election of members of the General Assembly and the electors shall be the same.


Article V, Section 3, Paragraph II of the state constitution describes the qualifications required of the secretary of state:

  • Must have been a citizen of the United States for 10 years
  • Must have been a legal resident of the state for four years immediately preceding election or appointment
  • Must have attained the age of 25 years by the date of assuming office.
  • Must have been an active member of the Georgia state bar for seven years.


The attorney general is elected to four-year terms during federal midterm election years (2018, 2022, 2026, etc.). All Georgia constitutional executive officers take office on the same day the Georgia Legislature begins its session, i.e. the second Monday of January in the year following their election.


See also: Georgia attorney general election, 2014
Georgia Attorney General, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSamuel S. Olens Incumbent 56.9% 1,436,987
     Democratic Greg Hecht 43.1% 1,087,268
Total Votes 2,524,255
Election Results via Georgia Secretary of State.

Term limits

There are no term limits for the attorney general.


Per Article V, Section 2, Paragraph VIII of the Georgia Constitution, the governor fills vacancies in the office of attorney general by appointment. The appointee must be confirmed by a majority vote of the Georgia Senate and serves out the remainder of the previous officeholder's term.


  • Serving as the attorney and legal advisor for all state agencies, departments, authorities and the Governor.
  • Providing opinions on legal questions concerning the State of Georgia or its agencies, which are binding on all state agencies and departments.
  • Representing the State of Georgia in all capital felony appeals before the Supreme Court of Georgia.
  • Representing the State of Georgia in all civil cases before any court.
  • Representing the State of Georgia in all cases appearing before the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Prosecuting public corruption cases where criminal charges are filed against any person or business for illegal activity when dealing with the State of Georgia.
  • Conducting special investigations into questionable activity concerning any state agency or department or a person or business that has done business with the State of Georgia.
  • Initiating civil or criminal actions on behalf of the State of Georgia when requested to do so by the Governor.
  • Preparing all contracts and agreements regarding any matter in which the State of Georgia is involved.

Campaign finance

Main article: Campaign finance requirements for Georgia ballot measures

The Attorney General of Georgia has sole authority over campaign finance prosecution. All complaints of campaign finance law are referred to the Attorney General from the Georgia Ethics Commission. The first step in filing a complaint is to file with the Ethics Commission. It is up to the commission to determine if a complaint is valid upon review.[2]

Click here to view larger-scale image of the Georgia Department of Law Office of the Attorney General Organizational Chart as of July 2013.


  • Regulated Industries and Professions
  • Commercial Transactions and Litigation
  • Criminal Justice
  • General Litigation
  • Government Services & Employment
  • Special Prosecutions
  • Operations
    • Computer Services
    • Financial Services
    • Human Resources[3]

State budget

See also: Georgia state budget and finances

The Attorney General's budget for the 2013 fiscal year was $59,813,68.[4]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected executive officials in Georgia are determined by state law as mandated in the Georgia Constitution. Article V of the state constitution indicates that the Georgia State Legislature determines salaries for governor, lieutenant governor and "other elected executives."[5]

Article V, Section 3, Paragraph III

Text of Paragraph III:

Powers, Duties, Compensation, and Allowances of Other Executive Officers

Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the General Assembly shall prescribe the powers, duties, compensation, and allowances of the above executive officers and provide assistance and expenses necessary for the operation of the department of each.[6]


In 2014, the attorney general received a salary of $137,791, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2013, the attorney general received a salary of $137,791. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[8]


In 2010, the attorney general received a salary of $137,791.

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Attorney General of Georgia has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

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Contact information


Capitol Address:
Office of the Attorney General
40 Capitol Square, SW
Atlanta, Ga 30334

Phone: (404) 656-3300
Fax: (404) 657-8733

See also

External links

Website of Georgia Attorney General