Attorney General of Vermont

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Vermont Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2010 FY Budget:  $7,573,301
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Two years
Authority:  Vermont State Code, Title 3, Chapter 7, § 151
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Bill Sorrell.jpg
Name:  Bill Sorrell
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  May 1997
Compensation:  $113,901
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Vermont Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Board
The Attorney General of Vermont is an elected executive position in the Vermont state government. The attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer in the state and is responsible for representing the state in all matters in which the state is a party or has an interest. Additionally, the attorney general will advise the elective and appointive state officers on questions of law relating to their official duties and can present opinions on legal matters.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Democrat Bill Sorrell. Sorrell has served in office since January 1997 and has won re-election every two years with at least 56 percent of the vote.[1]


The office of Vermont Attorney General is established in Title 3, Chapter 7, § 151 of the Vermont State Code.

§ 151:

An attorney general shall be elected at the same time and in the same manner as provided for the election of other state officers. He or she shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of his duties. His or her term of office shall commence when his or her election is declared by the committee appointed by the senate and house of representatives to canvass the votes, agreeably with 17 V.S.A. { 2592, or when elected by the general assembly pursuant to said section, and continue for a term of two years.


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 Vermont 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.


Section 20 of the Vermont Constitution, grants the governor the power to fill a vacancy in the office by appointment. The appointee shall serve until the next regularly scheduled election.


The specific duties of the attorney general are outlined in Title 3, Chapter 7 of the Vermont State Code:

  • may represent the state in all civil and criminal matters as at common law and as allowed by statute
  • shall also have the same authority throughout the state as a state's attorney
  • have the general supervision of criminal prosecutions
  • consult with and advise the state's attorneys in matters relating to the duties of their office, and shall assist them by attending the grand jury in the examination of any cause or in the preparation of indictments and informations when, in his judgment, the interests of the state require it
  • may appoint a deputy attorney general with the approval of the governor, remove him or her at pleasure and be responsible for his or her acts
  • may appoint such assistant attorneys general and special assistant attorneys general as may be necessary for the proper and efficient performance of his department, and with the approval of the governor, fix their pay, remove them at pleasure and be responsible for their acts[2]

Additionally, the attorney general, "shall advise the elective and appointive state officers on questions of law relating to their official duties and shall furnish a written opinion of such matters, when so requested. He shall have general supervision of matters and actions in favor of the state and of those instituted by or against state officers wherein interests of the state are involved and may settle such matters and actions as the interests of the state require."[3]


The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor are elected every two years, on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

In Vermont, state executives are elected in even numbered years; 2016, 2018 and 2020 are all election years.

Full history


See also: Vermont attorney general election, 2014

Democratic incumbent Bill Sorrell won re-election on November 4, 2014.

Attorney General of Vermont, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngWilliam Sorrell Incumbent 58.6% 109,305
     Republican Shane McCormack 37.3% 69,489
     Liberty Union Rosemarie Jackowski 3.9% 7,342
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 263
Total Votes 186,399
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State.


  • Civil Division
  • Criminal Division
  • Environmental Protection Division
  • General Counseling and Administrative Law
  • Human Services Division
  • Public Protection Division

State budget

See also: Vermont state budget and finances

The budget for the attorney general's office in Fiscal Year 2010 was $7,573,301.[4]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The attorney general, along with the rest of Vermont's elected executives, is legally entitled to an annual salary in accordance with Title 32, Chapter 15 of the Vermont Statutes (32 V.S.A. § 1003). Taking into account value adjustments, the statute contains real compensation figures for the previous and current year only.[5]


In 2014, the attorney general received a salary of $113,901, according to the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2013, the attorney general was paid an estimated $113,901. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2010, the attorney general was paid an estimated $108,202, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]

Historical officeholders

There have been 25 Attorneys General of Vermont since 1790.[9][10]

List of Former Officeholders from 1790-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 Samuel Hitchcock 1790-1793 NA
2 Daniel Buck 1793-1795 NA
3 Clarke C. Fitts 1904-1908 Ends.png Republican
4 John G. Sargent 1908-1912 Ends.png Republican
5 Rufus E. Brown 1912-1915 Ends.png Republican
6 Herbert G. Barber 1915-1919 Ends.png Republican
7 Frank C. Archibald 1919-1925 Ends.png Republican/Prohibition
8 J. Ward Carver 1925-1931 Ends.png Republican/Prohibition/Citizens
9 Lawrence C. Jones 1931-1941 Ends.png Republican
10 Alban J. Parker 1941-1947 Ends.png Republican
11 Clifton G. Parker 1947-1953 Ends.png Republican
12 F. Elliott Barber, Jr. 1953-1955 Ends.png Republican
13 Robert T. Stafford 1955-1957 Ends.png Republican
14 Frederick M. Reed 1957-1960 Ends.png Republican
15 Thomas M. Debevoise 1960-1962 Ends.png Republican
16 Charles J. Adams 1962-1963 Ends.png Republican
17 Charles E. Gibson, Jr. 1963-1965 Ends.png Republican
18 John P. Connarn 1965-1967 Electiondot.png Democratic
19 James L. Oakes 1967-1969 Ends.png Republican
20 James M. Jeffords 1969-1973 Ends.png Republican
21 Kimberly B. Cheney 1973-1975 Ends.png Republican
22 M. Jerome Diamond 1975-1981 Ends.png Republican/Independent Vermonter
23 John J. Easton, Jr. 1981-1985 Ends.png Republican/Electiondot.png Democratic
24 Jeffrey L. Amestoy 1985-1997 Ends.png Republican
25 William H. Sorrell 1997- Electiondot.png Democratic

Recent news

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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 Vermont - Google News Feed

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Contact information

Vermont Attorney General's Office
109 State Street
Montpelier VT 05609-1001

Phone: 802-828-3171
Fax: 802-828-2154

See also

External links

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