Attorney General of Virginia

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Virginia Attorney General
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $35,660,544
Term limits:  None
Structure
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Virginia Constitution, Article 5, Section 16
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Ken Cuccinelli 1.jpg
Name:  Ken Cuccinelli
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 16, 2010
Compensation:  $150,000
Elections
Next election:  November 5, 2013
Last election:  November 3, 2009
Other Virginia Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Attorney General of Virginia is a publicly elected executive official in the Virginia state government. The attorney general provides legal advice and representation for all state agencies. Additionally, the attorney general provides written legal advice in the form of official opinions to members of the General Assembly and government officials.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Ken Cuccinelli. He was first elected in 2009, and in late 2012 announced he would run for Governor of Virginia in 2013.

Authority

The office of the Virginia Attorney General is established in Article 5, Section 16 of the state constitution.

Article X, Section Y:

An Attorney General shall be elected by the qualified voters of the Commonwealth at the same time and for the same term as the Governor; and the fact of his election shall be ascertained in the same manner...

Qualifications

Article V, Section 16 of the Virginia Constitution also establishes the qualifications of the office:

...No person shall be eligible for election or appointment to the office of Attorney General unless he is a citizen of the United States, has attained the age of thirty years, and has the qualifications required for a judge of a court of record...
  • U.S. citizen
  • at least 30 years old
  • is qualified to be a judge of a court of record in the state

Elections

The attorney general is elected every four years at the same time the governor is elected. These elections take place one year after the presidential elections. In Virginia, 2009, 2013 and 2017 are all election years for the attorney general.[1]

Term limits

According to the state constitution, "There shall be no limit on the terms of the Attorney General."[2]

Vacancies

In the event of a vacancy in the office, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointment. The appointee shall hold office until the next general election.

Duties

The duties and powers of the office of the attorney general include:[3]

  • Provide legal advice and representation to the Governor and executive agencies, state boards and commissions, and institutions of higher education. The advice commonly includes help with personnel issues, contracts, purchasing, regulatory and real estate matters and the review of proposed legislation. The Office also represents those agencies in court.
  • Provide written legal advice in the form of official opinions to members of the General Assembly and government officials.
  • Defend criminal convictions on appeal, and defend the state when prisoners sue concerning their incarceration.
  • Defend the constitutionality of state laws when they are challenged in court.
  • Enforce state laws that protect businesses and consumers when there are violations. Individual consumer complaints are usually handled by another agency.
  • Represent consumers in utility matters before the State Corporation Commission.
  • Collect debts owed to state agencies, hospitals and universities.
  • Conduct or assist criminal investigations and prosecutions in certain limited cases (for example Medicaid fraud, money laundering, theft of state property, environmental crimes, and computer crimes).
  • Represent the Department of Social Services in its efforts to collect child support on behalf of children and families.
  • Supervise the appointment and payment of private attorneys hired by other state agencies for various matters.
  • Assist victims of crime who are following criminal cases at the appellate level.
  • Provide information to the public on Identity Theft prevention and remediation.
  • Administer grants to help reduce crimes involving gangs, drugs and sex predators.
  • Administer the Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment Program to protect children from the most dangerous predators.

A complete list of the duties of the office is outlined in the Virginia state code.[4]

Campaign finance

Main article: Campaign finance requirements for Virginia ballot measures

In Virginia, the State Attorney General is responsible for all disciplinary matters of the state's campaign finance laws. The first step in filing a complaint is to file with the Virginia Board of Elections. The Board of Elections refers all campaign finance complaints to the Virginia Attorney General for prosecution. [5]

Divisions

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Attorney General of Virginia 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.

State budget

The budget for the Attorney General's Office and the Department of Law in Fiscal Year 2012 was $35,660,544.[6]

Compensation

In 2011, the Virginia Attorney General was paid an estimated $150,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]

Historical officeholders

Commonwealth attorneys general (1869-present)

There have been 37 Attorney Generals of Virginia since 1869. Of the 37 officeholders, 11 were Republican, 22 were Democrat, 3 were Conservatives and 1 was Readjuster.[8]

Civil War attorneys general (1861-1869)

Secession government (1861-1865)

John Randolph Tucker was the Democratic attorney general from 1861 to 1865, when Virginia had succeeded in the Civil War.[8]

Restored government (1865-1865)

The era from when the Virginia rejoined the Union states and the end of the Civil War is known as the Restored Government of Virginia. There were two attorneys general in this era: Republican James S. Wheat (1861-1862) and Unionist/Republican Thomas Russell Bowden (1863-1869). Bowden served past the end of the Restored Government.[8]

Commonwealth attorneys general (1776-1857)

There were 8 Attorneys General of Virginia between 1776-1857.[8]

Recent news

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Contact information

Virginia

Office of the Attorney General
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Phone: 804-786-2071

See also

External links

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Suggest a link

References