Assumed Office: January, 2019
On November 6, 2018, Peter F. Neronha was elected as Rhode Island’s 74th Attorney General. He was sworn in on January 1, 2019. As the top legal official in Rhode Island, Attorney General Neronha leads an office that prosecutes criminal cases; represents state agencies, departments and commissions in litigation; initiates legal action when necessary to protect the interests of Rhode Islanders; and oversees the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
Early Life and Education
Neronha, a descendent of Portuguese and German immigrants (his mother came to the United States at the age of 19) grew up in Jamestown, Rhode Island. He attended North Kingstown High School, and in 1985 graduated summa cum laude from Boston College. He is a 1989 graduate of Boston College Law School, where he was a member of the Boston College Law Review.
After graduating from law school, Neronha joined the Boston, Massachusetts law firm Goodwin Procter, LLP. In 1996, he joined the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office as a Special Assistant and later Assistant Attorney General. In 2002, Neronha joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island, as an Assistant United States Attorney. He held several positions with the Office, including Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force.
Neronha was appointed by President Barack Obama as the 39th United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island on September 16, 2009, with the unanimous consent of the United States Senate. During his nearly eight year tenure as United States Attorney, Neronha was twice appointed by the Attorney General of the United States to terms on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC). The AGAC, comprised of sixteen United States Attorneys, regularly meets with and advises the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues impacting all 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices nationwide.
Neronha’s priorities as United States Attorney included building a strong governmental/private partnership to effectively combat cybercrime, aggressively prosecuting public corruption matters, combating child sex trafficking in Rhode Island and surrounding states, and developing an effective interdiction and prevention strategy in response to the state’s prescription pill/heroin crisis.
Attorney General Accomplishments:
As Attorney General, Neronha joined a multi-state coalition opposing President Trump’s national emergency declaration, as well as a coalition suing to protect the Title X family planning program. He also helped recover $5.4 million for CT from pharmaceutical distributor Reckitt Benckiser Group.
Neronha lives in his hometown of Jamestown, R.I. with his wife Shelly, a primary care physician, and their two sons, Zach and Josh.