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New York State Attorney General

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New York State Attorney General

The New York State Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the State of New York. The office has been in existence in some form since 1626, under the Dutch colonial government of New York.

The current Attorney General is Eric Schneiderman. He was elected on November 2, 2010 and took office on January 1, 2011.

Functions

The Attorney General advises the Executive branch of State government and defends actions and proceedings on behalf of the State. The Attorney General acts independently of the Governor of New York.

Organization

The legal functions of the Department of Law are divided primarily into five major divisions: Appeals and Opinions, State Counsel, Criminal Justice, Economic Justice and Social Justice.

First Deputy Attorney General

  • Harlan Levy,[1] (2011-)

Solicitor General

Terms of Office

  • From 1684 to 1777, when New York was under the British colonial government, the Attorney General was appointed by the British crown, or the colonial governor on its behalf. In 1693, the Attorney General earned a salary of 50 pounds.
  • From 1777 to 1822, the Attorney General was appointed by the Council of Appointment.
  • From 1823 to 1846, the Attorney General was elected by the New York State Legislature for a three-year term..
  • Attorneys General have been elected by the voters since 1847.

List of New York State Attorneys General

New York State Attorneys-General, 1777–present
Attorney General Tenure Party Remarks
Egbert Benson May 8, 1777 - May 14, 1788
Richard Varick May 14, 1788 - September 29, 1789 Federalist
Aaron Burr September 29, 1789 - November 8, 1791 Dem.-Rep.
Morgan Lewis November 8, 1791 - December 24, 1792 Dem.-Rep.
Nathaniel Lawrence December 24, 1792 - November 13, 1795 Dem.-Rep.
Josiah Ogden Hoffman November 13, 1795 - February 3, 1802 Federalist
Ambrose Spencer February 3, 1802 - February 3, 1804 Dem.-Rep.
John Woodworth February 3, 1804 - March 18, 1808 Dem.-Rep.
Matthias B. Hildreth March 18, 1808 - February 2, 1810 Dem.-Rep.
Abraham Van Vechten February 2, 1810 - February 1, 1811 Federalist
Matthias B. Hildreth February 1, 1811 - July 11, 1812 Dem.-Rep. died in office
Thomas Addis Emmet August 12, 1812 - February 13, 1813 Dem.-Rep.
Abraham Van Vechten February 13, 1813 - February 17, 1815 Federalist
Martin Van Buren February 17, 1815 - July 8, 1819 Dem.-Rep.
Thomas Jackson Oakley July 8, 1819 - February 12, 1821 Federalist
Samuel A. Talcott February 12, 1821 - January 27, 1829 Dem.-Rep. first appointed, in 1823 elected by State Legislature, resigned shortly before the end of his second term
Greene C. Bronson January 27, 1829 - January 12, 1836 Democrat elected a justice of the State Supreme Court during his third term
Samuel Beardsley January 12, 1836 - February 4, 1839 Democrat
Willis Hall February 4, 1839 - February 7, 1842 Whig
George P. Barker February 7, 1842 - February 3, 1845 Democrat
John Van Buren February 3, 1845 - December 31, 1847 Democrat legislated out of office by Constitution of 1846
Ambrose L. Jordan January 1, 1848 - December 31, 1849 Whig first Attorney General elected by general ballot
Levi S. Chatfield January 1, 1850 - November 23, 1853 Democrat resigned shortly before the end of his second term
Gardner Stow December 8, 1853 - December 31, 1853 appointed to fill unexpired term
Ogden Hoffman January 1, 1854 - December 31, 1855 Whig
Stephen B. Cushing January 1, 1856 - December 31, 1857 American
Lyman Tremain January 1, 1858 - December 31, 1859 Democrat
Charles G. Myers January 1, 1860 - December 31, 1861 Republican
Daniel S. Dickinson January 1, 1862 - December 31, 1863 Union
John Cochrane January 1, 1864 - December 31, 1865 Union
John H. Martindale January 1, 1866 - December 31, 1867 Republican
Marshall B. Champlain January 1, 1868 - December 31, 1871 Democrat two terms
Francis C. Barlow January 1, 1872 - December 31, 1873 Republican
Daniel Pratt January 1, 1874 - December 31, 1875 Democrat
Charles S. Fairchild January 1, 1876 - December 31, 1877 Democrat
Augustus Schoonmaker, Jr. January 1, 1878 - December 31, 1879 Democrat
Hamilton Ward, Sr. January 1, 1880 - December 31, 1881 Republican
Leslie W. Russell January 1, 1882 - December 31, 1883 Republican
Denis O'Brien January 1, 1884 - December 31, 1887 Democrat two terms
Charles F. Tabor January 1, 1888 - December 31, 1891 Democrat two terms
Simon W. Rosendale January 1, 1892 - December 31, 1893 Democrat
Theodore E. Hancock January 1, 1894 - December 31, 1898 Republican two terms (1894–1895; 1896–1898)
John C. Davies January 1, 1899 - December 31, 1902 Republican two terms
John Cunneen January 1, 1903 - December 31, 1904 Democrat
Julius M. Mayer January 1, 1905 - December 31, 1906 Republican
William S. Jackson January 1, 1907 - December 31, 1908 Democrat
Edward R. O'Malley January 1, 1909 - December 31, 1910 Republican
Thomas Carmody January 1, 1911 - September 2, 1914 Democrat resigned shortly before the end of his second term
James A. Parsons September 2, 1914 - December 31, 1914 Democrat appointed to fill unexpired term
Egburt E. Woodbury January 1, 1915 - April 19, 1917 Republican resigned during his second term
Merton E. Lewis April 19, 1917 - December 31, 1918 Republican as First Deputy AG acted until being elected by the State Legislature on April 25 to fill unexpired first half of term, then re-elected in special election (Nov. 1917) for the other half (1918)
Charles D. Newton January 1, 1919 - December 31, 1922 Republican two terms
Carl Sherman January 1, 1923 - December 31, 1924 Democrat
Albert Ottinger January 1, 1925 - December 31, 1928 Republican two terms
Hamilton Ward, Jr. January 1, 1929 - December 31, 1930 Republican son of Hamilton Ward, Sr. (AG 1880-1881)
John J. Bennett, Jr. January 1, 1931 - December 31, 1942 Democrat five terms
Nathaniel L. Goldstein January 1, 1943 - December 31, 1954 Republican three terms
Jacob K. Javits January 1, 1955 - January 9, 1957 Republican resigned having been elected U.S. Senator
Louis J. Lefkowitz January 9, 1957 - December 31, 1978 Republican elected by the State Legislature to fill unexpired term, then re-elected to five more terms, longest-serving Attorney General (8 days short of 22 years)
Robert Abrams January 1, 1979 - December 31, 1993 Democrat resigned a year before the end of his fourth term
G. Oliver Koppell January 1, 1994 - December 31, 1994 Democrat elected by the State Legislature to fill unexpired term
Dennis Vacco January 1, 1995 - December 31, 1998 Republican
Eliot Spitzer January 1, 1999 - December 31, 2006 Democrat two terms, then elected Governor
Andrew Cuomo January 1, 2007 - December 31, 2010 Democrat one term, then elected Governor
Eric Schneiderman January 1, 2011- Democrat

See also

References

External links

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • About the Attorney General

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