Attorney General of Kentucky
|Kentucky Attorney General|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$30,189,100|
|Term limits:||2 consecutive terms|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Kentucky Revised Statutes 15.010|
|Assumed office:||January 2008|
|Next election:||November 2015|
|Last election:||November 8, 2011|
|Other Kentucky Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Commissioner of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Cabinet Secretary • Public Service Commission|
The current Attorney General of Kentucky is Jack Conway, a Democrat, first elected in 2007. His first term ended in January 2012, and he won re-election in November 2011. He unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2010, losing in the general election to Republican Rand Paul.
Prior to becoming Attorney General, Conway was a private attorney for the firm of Conliffe Sandman and Sullivan. He also served for six years as a legal counsel and deputy cabinet secretary in the administration of former Kentucky Governor Paul Patton. Conway is a native and resident of Louisville, KY, and took his B.A. from Duke University and his J.D. from George Washington University.
According to his official website, Conway has spearheaded several cyber-security initiatives as attorney general, including creating a cybercrimes unit to battle child pornography and solicitation of minors on the internet.
The Kentucky attorney general's authority derives from state statute, which provides that "The Attorney General is head of the Department of Law." Though the office of attorney general is specifically authorized by the state constitution, its authority is "prescribed by law," and thus does not require constitutional action to modify.
The Kentucky Constitution requires that the attorney general be at least thirty years old, a resident of Kentucky for two years before election, and must have practiced law for eight years.
Kentucky Constitution, Section 91:
|A Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Commissioner of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics, Secretary of State, and Attorney-General, shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the same time the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected, for the term of four years, each of whom shall be at least thirty years of age at the time of his election, and shall have been a resident citizen of the State at least two years next before his election.|
Kentucky Constitution, Section 92:
|The Attorney-General shall have been a practicing lawyer eight years before his election.|
The attorney general, like all Kentucky executive officers, is chosen in the year preceding a presidential election (e.g. 2003, 2007, 2011). The incumbent is inaugurated on the first Monday in January after his election. The attorney general of Kentucky is elected for a four-year term. A 1992 amendment to the Kentucky Constitution permits the attorney general of Kentucky to serve two consecutive terms. The attorney general appoints a deputy and various assistants attorney general, who have the power to act on his behalf.
An attorney general only be elected to two consecutive terms and is ineligible to run for the four years following his second term.
The Kentucky Constitution allows the Governor to fill vacancies in all state executive offices, including the Secretary of State. Temporary commissions to fill the office expire after the next election.
The attorney general is the chief law officer, chief law enforcement officer, and legal adviser for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He provides legal counsel to state officials regarding their official duties on request and prepares legal instruments and documents for public use. He also represents the state of Kentucky or its officials and agencies in litigation.
Beyond providing legal representation to the state, the attorney general oversees or participates in a variety of advisory or regulatory institutions. He is the chairman of the Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council, which establishes standards for Kentucky's district attorneys and the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council, which performs a similar role for state law enforcement.
Besides his advisory duties, the attorney general oversees the Department of Law, which has a mandate to "prevent or remedy damage to the environment" and to "enforce any statute, ordnance, bylaw or regulation." This encompasses the attorney general's direct prosecutorial duties as chief law and chief law enforcement officer of the state. He may designate specific task forces devoted to different law enforcement issues, such as cyber-security, drug enforcement, or consumer protection.
The Department of Law, which the attorney general heads, has a number of divisions, including the:
- Criminal Appellate Division
- Consumer Protection Division
- Special Investigations Division
- Special Prosecutions Division
- Prosecutors Advisory Council Services Division
- Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Division
- Civil and Environmental Law Division
- Victims Advocacy Division
- Child Support Enforcement Commission
- Administrative Hearings Division
- Office of Rate Intervention
- Administrative Services Division
- Financial Integrity Enforcement Division.
The Attorney General's budget for fiscal year 2013 was $30,189,100 .
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Salary for the office is determined by statute, not the state's constitution, as is automatically adjusted upwards every year to adjust for inflation.
The Attorney General of Kentucky is responsible for all campaign finance disciplinary matters regardless if the alleged complaint involves civil or criminal laws. The first step in filing a campaign finance complaint is to file with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. It is up to the registry to determine if there is enough evidence by probable cause to refer the complaint to the Attorney General.
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Office of the Attorney General
Capitol Suite 118
700 Capitol Avenue
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-3449
- Conway for Attorney General, accessed May 7, 2011
- Project Vote Smart, Profile of Attorney General Jack Conway (KY), accessed May 7, 2011
- State of Kentucky, Jack Conway official bio, accessed May 7, 2011
- [Kentucky Revised Statutes 15.010, accessed May 7, 2011]
- Kentucky Constitution, Section 95, accessed May 7, 2011
- Kentucky Constitution, Section 91, accessed May 7, 2011
- Kentucky Constitution, Section 93, accessed May 7, 2011
- Kentucky Constitution, Section 76, accessed May 7, 2011
- Kentucky Revised Statutes 15-020, accessed May 7, 2011
- Kentucky Revised Statutes 15-255, accessed May 7, 2011
- 2012-2014 Budget of the Commonwealth, "Operating Budget Volume I (Full Version)," 35, accessed June 27, 2013
- Kentucky Revised Statutes 64.480, accessed May 7, 2011
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed November 24, 2014
- The Council of State Governments, "Book of the States 2013, Table 4.11," accessed February 2, 2014
- Kentucky Legislature, "Kentucky Campaign Finance Law"(Referenced Section 121.120, Kentucky Revised Statutes)
State of Kentucky
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