Open main menu

The Massachusetts Attorney General is an elected constitutionally defined executive officer of the Massachusetts Government. The officeholder is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The officeholder also acts as an advocate and resource for the Commonwealth and its residents in many areas, including consumer protection, combating fraud and corruption, protecting civil rights, and maintaining economic competition. The current Attorney General is Maura Healey.

Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Seal of Massachusetts.svg
Maura Healey official photo.jpg
Incumbent
Maura Healey

since January 21, 2015
StyleHer Honor
Term lengthFour years
Inaugural holderPaul Dudley
Formation1702
Websitewww.mass.gov/ago

Contents

HistoryEdit

When the 1780 state constitution was first enacted, the Attorney General was appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Governor's Council. The office was abolished in 1843 and re-established in 1849. In 1855 the constitution was amended so that the Attorney General (along with a number of other constitutionally enumerated offices) was elected by the people. The length of the term of office has matched that of the governor, and elections are held concurrently with those for other constitutional office. Elections were first held annually, became biennial (every two years) in 1920, and quadrennial (every four years) in 1966.

OrganizationEdit

The Office of the Attorney General is organized into six Bureaus: Executive; Energy and Environmental; Criminal; Government; Health Care and Fair Competition; and Public Protection and Advocacy. Each bureau is divided into divisions and teams. These Bureaus and Divisions have distinct missions, but work closely together to ensure the Attorney General’s Office provides the highest level of public protection.

List of Attorneys GeneralEdit

No. Attorney General Term Party
1 Paul Dudley July 1702 – November 1718
2 John Valentine November 1718 – June 1720
3 Thomas Newton June 1720 – May 1721
Vacant Vacant May 1721 – June 1722
4 John Overing June 1722 – June 1723
5 Vacant June 1723 – June 1725
6 John Read June 1725 – June 1728
7 Joseph Hiller June 1728 – June 1729
8 John Overing June 1729 – June 1736
9 William Brattle   June 1736 – June 1738
10 Edmund Trowbridge June 1738 – March 1767
11 Jeremiah Gridley   March 1767 – September 1767
12 Vacant September 1767 – November 1767
13 Jonathan Sewall November 1767 – September 1774
14 Vacant September 1774 – April 1776
15 Benjamin Kent[1] April 1776 – June 1778
16 Robert Treat Paine   June 19, 1778–1790
17 James Sullivan   1790–1807 Democratic-Republican
18 Barnabas Bidwell   June 15, 1807 – August 30, 1810 Democratic-Republican
19 Perez Morton   1810–1832 Democratic-Republican
20 James T. Austin 1832–1843 National Republican Party
Vacant Office Abolished from 1843 to 1849.
21 John H. Clifford   1849–1853 Whig
22 Rufus Choate   1853 – May 12, 1854 Whig
23 John H. Clifford   1854–1858 Whig
24 Stephen Henry Phillips   1858–1861 Republican
25 Dwight Foster   1861–1864 Republican
26 Chester I. Reed   1864 – April 20, 1867 Republican
27 Charles Allen   1867–1872 Republican
28 Charles R. Train   1872–1879 Republican
29 George Marston   1879–1883 Republican
30 Edgar J. Sherman   1883 – October 1, 1887 Republican
31 Andrew J. Waterman   1887–1891 Republican
32 Albert E. Pillsbury   1891–1894 Republican
33 Hosea M. Knowlton   1894–1902 Republican
34 Herbert Parker   1902–1906 Republican
35 Dana Malone   1906–1911 Republican
36 James M. Swift   1911–1914 Republican
37 Thomas J. Boynton   1914–1915 Democratic
38 Henry Converse Atwill   1915–1919 Republican
Acting Henry A. Wyman 1919–1920 Republican
39 J. Weston Allen   1920–1923 Republican
40 Jay R. Benton   1923–1927 Republican
41 Arthur K. Reading 1927 – June 6, 1928 Republican
42 Joseph E. Warner   1928–1935 Republican
43 Paul A. Dever   1935–1941 Democratic
44 Robert T. Bushnell 1941–1945 Republican
45 Clarence A. Barnes 1945–1949 Republican
46 Francis E. Kelly 1949–1953 Democratic
47 George Fingold 1953 – August 31, 1958 Republican
48 Edward J. McCormack, Jr.   September 11, 1958 – January 1963 Democratic
49 Edward Brooke   January 1963–January 2, 1967 Republican
Interim Edward T. Martin January 2, 1967 – January 18, 1967 Republican
50 Elliot Richardson   January 18, 1967 – January 1969 Republican
51 Robert H. Quinn January 1969 – January 1975 Democratic
52 Francis X. Bellotti   January 1975 – January 1987 Democratic
53 James Shannon   January 1987 – January 1991 Democratic
54 L. Scott Harshbarger   January 1991 – January 1999 Democratic
55 Thomas Reilly January 1999 – January 2007 Democratic
56 Martha Coakley   January 2007 – January 2015 Democratic
57 Maura Healey   January 2015 – Present Democratic

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit