The Beginning In 1889, Congress authorized organization of the state of Washington and its admission into the union as the 42nd state. Prior to statehood, the Washington Territory had an Attorney General appointed by the territorial governor with the consent of the President.
After Washington's admission to the Union in 1889, the Office of Attorney General became an elected position with a term of office of four years.
Washington's First Attorney General
Washington's territorial Attorney General was James B. Metcalf. A Mississippi native and Confederate veteran of the Civil War, Metcalf worked his way west after the war while studying law at night. In 1870 he was admitted to the California bar. After moving to Washington Territory, he became a distinguished trial attorney and was appointed territorial Attorney General in 1887. After statehood, Metcalf resumed his private practice and became a cable car promoter in the rapidly growing city of Seattle.
From Territory to Statehood—A snapshot in time
From statehood to the Second World War, the Washington State Attorney General's Office (AGO) remained relatively small and dealt with a narrow range of legal issues.
In many ways this reflected the views of the framers of the State Constitution. Article I, section 3 provides that the only persons and entities required to be represented by the Attorney General are the state officers. Prior to 1941, other state agencies and state actors were permitted to hire independent legal counsel and most did so.
As a result of the limited statutory responsibilities of the Attorney General, the Office remained a small group of staff attorneys for most of its early history.
The limited responsibilities during the first 50 years of statehood were also reflected in the relatively narrow range of legal issues handled by the Office. However, the legal matters handled by the Attorney General and his staff, while not diverse, were of great importance to the citizens of Washington and were indicative of the problems the State faced as it grew during this period.
And, of course, the Office's limited scope of activity during the 19th and early 20th centuries was also because Americans generally viewed the role of the government more narrowly than today.
Both major political parties advocated a limited government focused on certain activities, including ensuring the free flow of commerce (through legislation regarding transportation and utilities), public education and taxation. Not surprisingly then, it was these issues that the first seven attorneys general wrestled on behalf of the state government.
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Come the Railroads
Washington's first elected Attorney General, William C. Jones (1889-97), litigated four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court during his tenure. Three of the four were concerned with the ability of the new state to establish harbor lines in and around Puget Sound in order to aid the safe expansion of commerce. In one of the cases, General Jones faced the powerful Northern Pacific Railroad. In all three cases, General Jones prevailed and helped establish the authority of the State in its ability to manage its resources to promote the public welfare.
General Jones left office in 1897 when he was elected to the U.S. Congress. He was succeeded by Patrick Henry Winston, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War from North Carolina and member of the populist People's Party. A former U.S. Attorney for Washington for prior to his election, General Winston was so exhausted by his campaign for Attorney General that his health was permanently damaged. He remained ill throughout most of his tenure, and left office after only one term.
In 1901, Wickliffe Stratton, a Republican and native of Wisconsin, took office as Attorney General. Although Stratton was just 30 when elected, he had already served as the South Bend City Attorney and Pacific County Prosecutor. Stratton was particularly concerned during his single term in office with preserving and promoting the power of the state to collect taxes.
He successfully battled several Washington towns to ensure they collected and forwarded to the state the tax collected on liquor. In addition, General Stratton, like his predecessor, General Jones, took on the powerful Northern Pacific Railroad. General Stratton was successful in establishing that even the Northern Pacific was not exempt from paying property taxes on its land in Washington.
After leaving office General Stratton formed a Seattle law partnership with former Governor Henry McBride and served on the board of directors for a number of Seattle companies. He died in 1937.
John Atkinson succeeded General Stratton in 1905 and also served just one term. General Atkinson was a native of Pennsylvania where he began teaching school at age 15. A school principal as well as an attorney after he moved to Washington, he was appointed to the State Board of Education and served as the elected State Auditor before being elected Attorney General.
General Atkinson was primarily concerned with the ongoing pressures brought by the railroads and the growing demands of providing adequate public education. In 1905, the Legislature created the state Railroad Commission to regulate various aspects of the railroad industry in Washington. This commission was represented by the AGO and Commission matters took up most of General Atkinson's time. General Atkinson was also closely involved in litigation surrounding grants of public lands made for the siting of public schools.
General Atkinson ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 1908. After losing the election he returned to his law practice in Seattle.
He was succeeded as Attorney General by yet another Republican, Walter Bell. Bell was born in Iowa and in his early adulthood was a teacher, cattleman, farmer, and steamship purser before becoming a lawyer. Prior to becoming Attorney General, he was the Snohomish City Attorney and Snohomish County Prosecutor.
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Full-time Assistant Attorney General
General Bell was responsible for making the position of Assistant Attorney General a full-time job. Prior to that time, most assistants had worked only part-time for the state, with the remainder of their time spent in private practice in Seattle. General Bell also required that his assistants move to Olympia.
General Bell was directly involved in pursuing two U.S. Supreme Court cases with the State of Oregon during his tenure. One involved the border between the two states. General Bell lost this case. However, he was successful in defending the rights of a Washington resident who, although fishing in Washington's part of the Columbia, was charged by Oregon authorities with violating Oregon fishing statutes.
In 1911, General Bell stepped down to accept an appointment to the Superior Court in Snohomish County. Following his service on the bench he returned to Everett and resumed the private practice of law until his death in 1927.
He was succeeded by one of his assistants, William V. Tanner, who, at the age of 29 remains the youngest Attorney General in Washington's history. Tanner, a native of Minnesota, had worked his way up the ladder in the AGO, having worked there as a law clerk, stenographer, and Assistant Attorney General before being appointed to succeed General Bell. General Tanner, also a Republican, served out Bell's term and was twice reelected to his own terms of office. He served from 1911 through 1919.
General Tanner, like his predecessors, again took on the Northern Pacific Railroad when he assisted the Attorney General of North Dakota in filing suit against the railroad to require it to follow the intrastate rates set by North Dakota, rather than those set by the federal government. Northern Pacific won this battle on the grounds that the federal government had taken over the nation's railroads during World War I and, therefore, Northern Pacific, through the federal government, had the power to set rates.
General Tanner was very active in representing Washington in the U.S. Supreme Court. During his tenure the AGO was a litigant in almost 15 cases that came before the Court. His concern for the protection of Washington workers was exemplified by his victory before the Court when it affirmed the ability of the State to collect premiums due under the State's Worker's Compensation Act.
These Supreme Court cases also demonstrate General Tanner's belief in the power of the State to regulate the largely unregulated corporate entities of the day, including the Northern Pacific Railroad and Standard Oil. In 1919, General Tanner resigned from office to represent Washington in U.S. Supreme Court litigation regarding the rate-making authority of the railroad administrators.
After leaving office General Tanner was a partner in the Seattle law firm of Tanner, Garvin, and Ashley where he served as legal counsel to the Seattle Post Intelligencer. He eventually became the managing publisher of that newspaper between 1932 and 1936. He also served for a number of years on the board of directors for the Washington Mutual Savings Bank.
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General Tanner was succeeded by L.L. Thompson, one of his Assistant Attorneys General. General Thompson, born in Sumner, was the first native-born Washington State Attorney General. When he was appointed Attorney General, Thompson was just 31 years old.
Thompson was elected in 1920 on the Republican ticket, but resigned in 1923 in order to return to a more lucrative private practice. Only 34 when he resumed his private practice in Tacoma, he long remained a prominent member of the Pierce County bar and was active in numerous civic and professional organizations, including the Washington State Judicial Council.
John Dunbar, also a native Washingtonian, was appointed to succeed Thompson. General Dunbar's parents were early settlers in Washington. Dunbar's father was also a distinguished Washington attorney serving as a Washington Supreme Court Justice from 1889 to 1912.
Appointed Attorney General at age 33, Dunbar was elected to a full term the following year and another term four years later. He served until 1933. During his tenure, he was involved in numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. These cases continued to involve common carriers and the interstate commerce clause, intrastate public transportation issues, and public utilities.
The Great Depression and War as a Catalyst for Change
The Great Depression intruded upon the end of Dunbar's term as Attorney General. General Dunbar was involved in the litigation that resulted from the changes the Depression forced upon Washington's taxation scheme.
Historically, Washington had relied on property taxes for a large part of its budget. As the Depression grew, the state required more money to fund its newly enacted social service programs. As a result, property taxes were increased. However, because of the depression, property tax delinquencies increased drastically.
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Property Tax Limitation and a Short-Lived Income Tax
In response, the Legislature passed a law limiting property tax increases and attempted to replace the shortfall in revenue by enacting an individual and corporate income tax. The state income tax was not long lived because the Washington Supreme Court determined that the tax violated the state constitution.
General Dunbar was defeated in the 1932 Democratic landslide that occurred with the election of President Franklin Roosevelt. Following his defeat, General Dunbar returned to private practice in Olympia where he remained until his death in the early 1940s.
In Washington, this Democratic landslide carried Garrison Hamilton to the Office of the Attorney General making him the first Democrat elected Attorney General. At age 78, Hamilton, a native of Ohio, is the oldest Attorney General to serve. Hamilton was elected to two terms and died in office in 1940 at age 86.
The workload of the AGO greatly increased during Hamilton's tenure. This was a result of:
- The upheavals of the Depression;
- The steps taken by municipal, local, and state governments to address those problems; and
- The litigation that inevitably resulted.
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Growth of the Attorney General's Office
- In 1910, the Office consisted of only the Attorney General and three assistants.
- By 1926, there were still only 7 Assistant Attorneys General.
- As late as 1948, there were only 20 Assistant Attorneys General.
- In the last 50 years, the Office has grown to more than 1,200 employees:
- Working in 26 separate divisions;
- Located in 12 locations throughout Washington;
- Representing more than 200 state agencies, boards and commissions
Washington created many state counterparts to the New Deal social legislation passed by the federal government. Thus, General Hamilton was intimately involved in litigating matters involving not only taxation, but also the new areas of public health and welfare.
Since 1940, the Office of the Attorney General has steadily grown in size. This growth has been a function of many factors including a vast increase in the number of client agencies and entities and the expanded role government began to play in our society. This expansion could be measured by new laws and government programs and by the increasing frequency that citizens turned to the judicial system to solve problems.
General Hamilton was succeeded in 1940 by another Democrat, Smith Troy. At the time of his appointment, Troy was the Thurston County Prosecutor. General Troy served out the remainder of Hamilton's term and was reelected in 1944 and again in 1948.
From 1943 to 1945, General Troy served in the Army in Europe as Lieutenant Colonel Troy and earned five battle stars. During this time, Troy's deputy served as acting Attorney General.
In 1941, at General Troy's urging, the Legislature passed the Monopoly Statute, RCW 43.10.067. This law required all state agencies to rely upon the AGO for legal representation. Not surprisingly, this led to an immediate increase in the workload of the Office and an increase in staff.
Important and noteworthy cases handled during General Troy's tenure included the condemnation actions surrounding the creation of Olympic National Park. Much of the land the federal government sought to condemn to create the park contained valuable timber owned by the State. General Troy filed suit against the federal government. A settlement was eventually reached and the State received more than 99 percent of the total amount claimed in its suit.
In another important case, General Troy represented the state in its attempt to get insurers to reimburse the state for the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The insurers initially declined to cover the loss. However, after filing a declaratory judgment action regarding the insurers' liability for the loss, the insurers agreed to fully reimburse the State.
General Troy was also successful in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court involving the fishing rights of Native Americans. The Court held that in signing various treaties with the native tribes in the 19th century, the state had not given up the right to regulate fishing by tribe members outside native lands.
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New Challenges and New Solutions
In 1952, 32-year-old Republican Don Eastvold was elected Attorney General over incumbent Troy. General Troy returned to private practice in Olympia where he remained an active member of the state bar until his death in 1988.
Attorney General Eastvold is the last Attorney General to have served just one term. General Eastvold was heavily involved in Republican politics and chaired the credentials committee at the 1952 Republican National Convention. He also gave one of the nominating speeches for Eisenhower at the convention.
During General Eastvold’s tenure, the real estate sales tax law of 1951 was passed. This led to an increase in litigation and Attorney General opinions on property tax issues. These new laws led to the formation of what would become the Office’s Revenue Division.
Attorney General Eastvold also formally organized what was then called the Highways Division. This Division soon became one of the largest units in the Office as the rapid expansion of the state's highway system got underway as a result of the federal interstate highway program.
General Eastvold ran for Governor in the 1956 election, but was defeated. After this election loss he left politics and went into real estate development, promoting a number of large scale developments on the Washington coast. He passed away in 1998.
He was succeeded by John J. O'Connell, a Democrat, who was 37 years old when he was first elected. A World War II Army veteran of the South Pacific, O'Connell had previously served for two terms as the Pierce County Prosecutor.
After becoming Attorney General, O'Connell became active in the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), an activism continued by each of his successors. He received NAAG's award for Outstanding Attorney General in 1961 and was president of the organization in 1963.
One of the cases handled by the Office during General O'Connell's tenure grew out of the anti-communist excesses of the 1950s. O'Connell successfully defended the constitutionality of a state law that required employees of state universities to sign an oath that they were not members of the Communist party as a condition of their continued employment.
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General O'Connell was also involved in other, less controversial, litigation. The Consumer Protection and Antitrust Act (CPA), passed in 1961 at the urging of General O'Connell, led to a large increase in work for the Office.
In an important case involving the CPA, the Washington Supreme Court held that the Attorney General did not libel a fur company by making statements in a press release about the company. The Court held that state officials are absolutely privileged with respect to alleged defamatory statements contained in speeches or written publications arising out of their official duties.
The other factor driving the increased duties of the Office of the Attorney General was another piece of legislation passed in 1961 — the state tort claims act that waived Washington's sovereign immunity against citizen tort actions.
Prior to this waiver citizens could not generally sue the state and the AGO did not have an active tort defense practice. After 1961, a de facto torts division was formed within the Office's Highways Division and that division's trial attorneys functioned for many years as attorneys for both the state’s tort defense and the Department of Highways.
Federal Due Process
Federal court decisions in a variety of matters that rested on the increasing due process requirements associated with the receipt or denial of government benefits also drove the increased duties of the Office of the Attorney General. This led to additional judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings in which the State government needed legal representation.
All of these factors: consumer protection, torts, highways, and federal due process requirements, contributed to the growth of the Office from approximately 40 attorneys at the beginning of General 0’Connell’s tenure to approximately 110 when he left office in 1968.
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Heightened Consciousness and New Laws
In 1968, O’Connell ran unsuccessfully for Governor against Dan Evans and was succeeded as Attorney General by Slade Gorton, a Republican. Following his service as Attorney General, O’Connell returned to private practice in Tacoma and remained active in politics for many years. O'Connell passed away in 1998.
Like O'Connell, Gorton would be elected to three terms as Attorney General. General Gorton served in the Army after World War II and then entered law school. After law school, he entered private practice in Seattle. Prior to his election as Attorney General he served as a member of the Legislature from 1958 to 1968, eventually becoming House Majority Leader.
After his election, General Gorton became involved in NAAG. From 1972 to 1979, he was a member of NAAG's executive committee. He also served two terms as NAAG's president. General Gorton was active not only professionally but physically as well. In 1973, he took time off to bicycle coast to coast across the U.S..
General Gorton continued his predecessor's vigorous enforcement of consumer protection actions. He was also instrumental in the Legislature’s enactment of the Shoreline Management Act in 1971. In addition, although the AGO has no original criminal jurisdiction, General Gorton became involved in organizations to enhance the training of police and corrections officers.
Arguably the most important case that the Office was involved in during General Gorton's tenure was what has become known as the Boldt decision (United States v. Washington, 384 F. Supp. 312 (1974)) involving Native American fishing rights.
This decision grew out of several factors including:
- The imprecise language contained in the numerous treaties signed between the tribes and the federal government in the 19th century;
- The decline in the fishing stocks that began to reach alarming proportions by the early 1970s; and
- The civil rights movement that served as an impetus for Native Americans across the country to seek redress in federal court for what they considered to be long-standing violations of their treaty rights.
In February 1974, U.S. District Court Judge George Boldt issued a decision in which he determined that the treaties signed during the 19th century guaranteed Native Americans 50 percent of the fish caught in non-tribal waters. Until that decision, the tribes had only been taking approximately 10 percent of that harvest.
Social and Health Services
The Office continued to grow during General Gorton's tenure. One piece of legislation that caused this continued growth was passed by the Legislature in 1978 and required the Office of the Attorney General to represent the Department of Social and Health Services in juvenile courts in King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties on termination and dependency matters.
In addition to the direct impact this legislation had on the workload of the Office, it also led to the Office's participation in these matters in other counties and contributed to the growth of the Office's regional staffs.
AG Revolving Fund
In 1971, the Legislature created the Attorney General revolving fund, RCW 43.10.210, that transferred all Assistant Attorneys General to a dedicated Office budget and began the process of transferring to that dedicated budget the Office's support staff.
The other great societal change during the Gorton administration was the birth of the modern environmental movement and the creation of the Washington State Department of Ecology in 1970.
With the creation of the Department of Ecology came a consolidation and expansion of the state's environmental protection activities that led to General Gorton's creation of the Office's Ecology Division. The Ecology Division drew its original staff from many of those attorneys already working on related issues for their clients at the Departments of Natural Resources, Transportation, and Fish and Wildlife.
All told, the number of attorneys in the Office doubled during General Gorton's three terms to approximately 220 by 1980. It was also during this period that legislation was enacted that prohibited the Office's attorneys from engaging in private practice with the passage of RCW 43.10.150 in 1973.
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The Modern Era
General Gorton was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980 where he served as the State's senior Senator for nearly 20 years.
He was succeeded as Attorney General by fellow Republican Ken Eikenberry. Keeping up the tradition begun by O'Connell and continued by Gorton, Eikenberry was elected to three terms as Attorney General.
After graduating from law school, Eikenberry was an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He followed this with service for several years as a deputy prosecutor in King County. During his time at the prosecutor's office, Eikenberry became increasingly involved in politics.
From 1971 to 1976, he served in the State House, and from 1977 until his election as Attorney General, Eikenberry was a member of the Republican National Committee and a chairman of the Republican State Central Committee.
Criminal Justice Division
One of General Eikenberry's priorities was to bring more of the resources of the Office of the Attorney General into the state's criminal law enforcement efforts. A result of this focus, and a result of the Legislature's enactment of RCW 43.10.232, that granted the Office of the Attorney General concurrent authority to investigate and prosecute crimes, was the creation of the Office's first formally designated Criminal Prosecution Unit. This unit immediately began to assist in criminal prosecution matters referred to the Attorney General by the Governor or county prosecutors. Later under Attorney General Gregoire, most of the office’s criminal justice functions were consolidated into one division aptly named the Criminal Justice Division.
AG Fast Facts
- Since 1889, Washington has elected 16 attorneys general — 15 men and 1 woman, ranging in age at the date of their election or appointment from 29 to 78.
- More than half were not born in Washington.
- Many came from pioneer farming families and received little formal education. Others came from privileged backgrounds with extensive education.
- Prior to becoming attorneys, most had other occupations including farmer, school teacher, seminary student, school principal, railroad clerk, and steamship purser.
- Democrats, Republicans, and one candidate of the "People's Party" have been elected as AG.
- Past attorneys general have fought in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II, as well as having served in the armed forces as members of the Judge Advocate General's Corps.
During his tenure Attorney General Eikenberry also began a period of reorganization within the Office designed to address some of the challenges that arose from the growth of the Office.
He consolidated or reconfigured several divisions to improve the lines of communication between the many attorneys, and to otherwise meet the demands of more than three decades of continued expansion of Washington state government.
He also further modernized the Office's budgeting and fiscal processes during this period and reallocated Division resources to better match the necessary legal services with the needs of the various agencies.
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One of the many innovations during this period, in an effort to reintroduce the collegiality of a smaller organization, was the creation of the annual Attorney General's Office Conference.
Attorney General Eikenberry received the 1992 Republican gubernatorial nomination but narrowly lost the general election that year. Now semi-retired, Eikenberry still makes his home in Olympia where he works as a political consultant and is active in various other endeavors.
Eikenberry was succeeded in 1993 by Christine Gregoire, a Democrat who grew up in Auburn, Wash., and the first woman to be elected to the position in Washington. She began her legal career in 1977 as an Assistant Attorney General, and in 1981 became the first woman appointed Deputy Attorney General. In 1988, she left the Office to become Director of the Washington Department of Ecology.
As Attorney General, Gregoire continued to champion the rights of consumers. In addition to the traditional litigation brought by the Office under the CPA, General Gregoire assisted in bringing the CPA into the computer age, encouraging legislation and assisting in the enforcement of anti-spamming laws, and forming a High Technology Unit to combat Internet fraud.
She was elected president of NAAG in 2000.
During General Gregoire's tenure, the Office has continued to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court in several important cases. In one case, the Court upheld the constitutionality of Washington's law banning physician-assisted suicide.
Solicitor General’s Office
In response to the growing number, and changing complexity, of appellate cases handled by the Office, General Gregoire established the position of Washington State Solicitor General responsible for analyzing all the Office's appellate issues and supervising the drafting of all official Opinions of the Office of the Attorney General.
Perhaps Attorney General Gregoire's most significant achievement to date was her instrumental leadership in the national settlement reached with the tobacco industry.
General Gregoire and her colleagues from other states reached an agreement in which the industry agreed to pay states more than $206 billion through 2025. The tobacco settlement bans the industry from using cartoon characters in advertising, from targeting youth in its marketing, from using billboards and transit advertising, and from the sale and distribution of clothes and other items that essentially serve as billboards for tobacco. For her leadership in this settlement, Gregoire was named the most influential attorney general in the country by the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids.
In the wake of the Enron scandal, Gregoire led the effort to recoup $97.5 million lost by the Washingtonians in Enron bonds and she investigated Enron and other companies engaged in illegal business practices in the Western power market.
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In 2004, Republican Rob McKenna was elected as Washington's 17th Attorney General. Since taking office in 2005, McKenna has re-defined the traditional role of the Attorney General as the top law enforcement officer in Washington state.
His top priorities have been to strengthen consumer protection, improve citizen access to government, protect communities - particularly children - from sex offenders, and provide statewide leadership in battle against methamphetamine production, identity theft and counterterrorism activities.
He was named co-chair of NAAG’s Tobacco Committee in 2006 and secured a seat on NAAG’s executive committee at the same time.
High-Tech Consumer Protection
Soon after taking office, McKenna won increased funding from the Legislature for the Consumer Protection Division to fight high-tech fraud. In addition, he expanded the High-Tech Unit, hired the office’s first computer forensic investigator and developed a state-of-the-art lab to investigate the entire scheme of internet activities. Under his leadership, the office helped pass anti-spyware legislation and prosecuted the state’s first anti-spyware cases.
Operation: Allied Against Meth
In 2005, he launched “Operation: Allied Against Meth”— a statewide prosecution, education and legislative initiative to support local law enforcement and bring statewide leadership and new resources to communities struggling to end the methamphetamine crisis in Washington.
Identity Theft Summit
McKenna also convened the first statewide Identity Theft Summit in 2005, bringing together more than 300 leaders from the public and private sector to tackle what has become the fastest-growing crime in the U.S.
A well-known champion of open government, McKenna passed a 2005 law to tighten public disclosure laws and encourage more consistent compliance. He toured the state throughout 2005 to gather feedback from the public, government representatives and the media then introduced model rules for public disclosure in early 2006. He also named the office’s first Public Records Ombudsman, a highly-respected public records expert, to encourage compliance and mediate disputes,.
Protecting communities from sex predators
In 2006, he won passage of a comprehensive package of bills to better protect communities, especially children, from dangerous sex predators.
Examples of major cases the AGO is currently involved in are defending I-297, the voter approved Hanford clean-up initiative, and Boldt II, a case in which the U.S. and Tribes allege that the state is not doing enough to fix fish-blocking culverts under state-owned roads.
As the state's chief legal officer, McKenna currently directs 500 attorneys and nearly 700 professional staff providing legal services to more than 200 state agencies, boards and commissions.
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In 2012, Democrat Bob Ferguson was elected as Washington's 18th Attorney General.
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A History of Protecting the People
From the first clashes with the giant railroad monopolies to the most recent settlement with the big tobacco industry, the Office of the Attorney General has consistently represented the legal interests of the people of the State of Washington.
From 1889 until approximately 1940, it was a relatively small organization that dealt with a narrow group of issues peculiar to the problems of a fledgling state. However, beginning with the enactment of the Monopoly Statute in 1941 relating to provision of state agency legal services, and the subsequent rapid growth of Washington State and its state government, the Office has been called upon to address an ever increasing number of legal issues in an ever increasing number of forums.
Over the course of the last century the Office of the Attorney General has established itself as Washington State's most important law firm. And, just as the Office successfully met the challenges of the last century, it will undoubtedly continue to be called upon to provide a forever changing and adapting legal representation to meet the needs of a forever changing and adapting State of Washington.
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- Bish, Robert L., Governing Puget Sound, Washington Sea Grant distributed by the University of Washington Press, Seattle 1982.
- Boersema, Craig, Ph.D., Candidate, The Office of the Washington State Attorney General as a Stepping Stone to Higher Political Office, Department of Political Science, Washington State University. March, 1986.
- Boersema, Craig, Ph.D., One Hundred Years in the Washington Attorney General's Office: A Study of the Incumbents and Their Cases in the Washington State Supreme Court,March 24, 1989 (Funded in part by a grant from the Washington State AGO in 1986).
- Durham, Nelson Wayne. History of the City of Spokane and Spokane County, Washington, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Spokane 1912.
- Levine, Raphael H. with Barlow, Anne, Rabbi Raphael Levine's Profiles in Service: Stories of People Who Help People, Evergreen Publishing Company, 1985.
- Lyman. William Denison, History of the Yakima Valley, Washington: Comprising Yakima, Kittitas and Benton Counties, S.J. Clarke, Chicago 1919.
- Newell, Gordon, Rogues, Buffoons and Statesmen, Hangman Press as presented by Superior Publishing Company, Seattle 1975.
- Edited by Nice, David C., Pierce. John C.. Sheldon, Charles H., Government and Politics in the Evergreen State, Washington State University Press, Pullman 1992.
- Notable Men of Washington, The Perkins Press, Tacoma 1912.
- Pollard, Lancaster, A History of the State of Washington, Vol. IV, American Historical Society, Inc., New York 1937.
- Prosser, William Farrand, A History of the Puget Sound Country, Vol. I, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago 1903.
Renfro, Alfred T., assisted by Gauntlett, Victor & Smith, Ruple Dix, The Thirteenth Session of the Washington State Legislature and State Officials, Beaux Arts Village, Washington: A.T. Renfro, 1913.
- Renfro, Alfred T., The Fourteenth Session: a brief historv of the men who represented the million and half people of the State of Washington in the legislature of 1915, Seattle, Washington: House of Sherman, 1915.
- Steele, Patrick M., From the Beginning: A History of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, The Association, 1990. [Editor: Val Dumond]
- Stewart, Edgar Irving, Washington: Northwest Frontier, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York 1957.
- Swanson, Thor, Mullen, William F., Pierce, John C., & Sheldon, Charles H., Political Life in Washington: Governing the Evergreen State, Washington State University Press, Pullman 1985.
- Whitfield, William, History of Snohomish County, Washington, Pioneer Historical Publishing Company, Chicago 1926.
- Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Christine O. Gregoire, 1997 Annual Report.
- Attorney General of Washington, 1998 Annual Report, Published February, 1999.
- Attorney General of Washington, 2005 Annual Report, Published January 2006
- Attorney General Reports: William Cary Jones; Wickliffe Buren Stratton; John D. Atkinson; Walter P. Bell; William Vaughn Tanner; Garrison W. Hamilton; Smith Troy; John James O'Connell; Thomas Slade Gorton.
- Articles from Tacoma newspapers dated 1936
- Snohomish Sun, Special Edition, Snohomish, Washington, 1891. (J. W, Gunn, Ed. & Mgr.]
- The Associated Press article 5/5/99
- The Associated Press article 6/25/96
- PI article 8/16/88
- PI article 11/17/81
- Information provided by Ed Mackie, former Chief Deputy AG
- RCWs: 4.92; 19.86; 43.10.067; 43.10.090; 43.10.150-43.10.220.
- Cases: Ridduch v. State; Prosser v. Northern Pacific R. Co., 152 U.S. 59 (1894); State v. McBride; State v. City of Seattle, 31 Wash. 149; State v. City of Aberdeen, 34 Wash. 61; Mountain Timber Co. v. State, 243 U.S. 219 (1917); Puget Sound Traction, Light, & Power Co. v. Reynolds, 244 U.S. 574 (1917); Northern Pacific Railway Co. v. State, 222 U.S. 370 (1912); State ex rel. Paulhamus v. Puget Sound Electric Railway, 65 Wash. 75; Standard Oil Co. v. Graves, 249 U.S. 389 (1919); Culliton v. Chase, 174 Wash. 363 (1933); Gold Seal Chinchillas, Inc. v. State, 69 Wash.2d 828 (1966); Nostrand v. Balmer, 53 Wn.2d 460 (1959); Weiss v. Bruno, 82 Wn.2d 199 (1973); State v. O’Connell, 83 Wn.2d 797 (1974); Blair v. Washington State University, 108 Wn.2d 558 (1987); Sofie v. Fibreboard Corp., 112 Wash.2d 636 (1989); Washington v. Glucksberg; Edwards v. Balisok; Kansas v. Hendricks.
Originally prepared by Assistant Attorneys General Todd Bowers and Drew Scott with much assistance from many. Updated in 2006 by AGO Speechwriter Maureen Scharber.
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