Gregoire was the first woman to lead the office
SPOKANE — The Spokane Division of the Washington Attorney General’s Office now bears the name of former Attorney General and Gov. Chris Gregoire.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson officially renamed the office today in Spokane with a ceremony and reception honoring Gregoire, who led the Spokane Division in the 1980s and was the state’s first-ever female Deputy Attorney General, promoted by then-AG Ken Eikenberry.
“With this symbolic gesture, we honor the exemplary public service career of Governor Chris Gregoire and her deep roots in the Spokane community," Ferguson said. “Today’s dedication also recognizes her immeasurable contributions to our office and the State of Washington, marking where that trailblazing record of public service first took root and began to grow.”
Gregoire began her legal career in Spokane, graduating from Gonzaga Law in 1977. She was recruited as an Assistant Attorney General by former AG Slade Gorton that same year.
Gregoire left the Attorney General’s Office in 1988 to lead the Department of Ecology for four years. She ran for Attorney General in 1992, winning her first of three terms as the state’s chief legal officer. She followed that with two terms as Washington Governor, leaving the state’s top executive post in 2013.
“I am humbled to receive the honor of the naming of the Spokane Office. My thanks to Attorney General Ferguson, the Spokane Office and the entire Attorney General's Office,” Gregoire said. “I will forever be indebted to the Spokane Office for launching my career and letting me be a part of the finest Attorney General's Office in the country.”
Gregoire’s time as Washington’s 16th Attorney General was marked by her trademark intensity, tenacity and intelligence. Under her leadership at the AGO, Washington state was part of the landmark, multi-state lawsuit against the tobacco industry, which produced the largest civil settlement in U.S. history of $206 billion. Gregoire was the lead negotiator in the talks that led to the settlement.
During her two terms as the state’s 22nd governor, Gregoire made strides in improving transportation, education reforms and advancing same-sex marriage, which became legal in the state in 2012 after Gregoire signed the bill legalizing same-sex weddings into law.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov