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The Attorney General of Washington is a member of the executive department of the state and the office holder is the chief legal advisor for all government agencies in Washington. The Attorney general not only represents clients who are working for the state or are associated with a state run/owned public agency but also he/she undertakes matters that are in the interest of the public as directed by the Washington laws.
At the time of writing this article, Republican Rob Mckenna was on the seat after winning two consecutive terms.His tenure was to end in 2012 at which point he had decided to run for the Governor’s office.
Like all members of the state executive department, the attorney general is an elected official who has won the position after contesting in polls that are held every four years. In the state of Washington, attorney general elections are held in the same year as presidential polls, so after 2012, the next election will be held in 2016.
For a person to be eligible to hold the office of the attorney general, he/she has to be a citizen of the United States, should be a qualified elector of the state and under state law, the individual running for office should also be a qualified practitioner of the supreme court of the state of Washington. Elections for the office of the attorney general are usually held in November; however, the winner only assumes office in the month of January of the following year.
The rights and responsibilities of the attorney general’s office
According to Chapter 3 of Washington State Laws which offers an outline for the specific duties of the attorney general, the office bearer is responsible for representing the state and its agencies in all matters presented before the Supreme Court and the court of appeals. The attorney general’s office is expected to be involved in all matters pertaining to state interests.
The attorney general is also charged with defending any member of a state agency against proceedings initiated in response to an action committed while he/she was acting in the official capacity of his post. The attorney general of Washington State also takes on an advisory role and offers input to the members of the legislature, the governor’s office as well as other state officers.
The office holder is also expected to consult with prosecuting attorneys acting on behalf of the state and prepare drafts and other instruments relating to matters that the state holds a vested interest in.
Legal divisions of the attorney general across the state of Washington
At this time, the attorney general’s office oversees the working of 27 legal divisions located across 12 cities in the state. These include: agriculture and health, bankruptcy and collections, corrections, consumer protection, criminal justice, education, labor and personnel, revenue, social and health services, Washington State University and transportation among others.
Notable initiatives undertaken by the office of Washington Attorney General
Apart from offering legal assistance to various state agencies, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office also ensures that consumer rights are upheld, adequate protection is afforded to the youth and seniors living in the state and law and order is maintained in the state, offering a safer environment to the residents.
In keeping with these initiatives, the Attorney General’s office has a myriad of programs that support justice agencies and prosecutors in curbing the crime rate in the community and other nefarious activities that may cause financial harm to the public.Some of the more notable operations among these are:
  • The Allied Against Meth Operation
  • Financial crime unit
  • Medical fraud unit
  • Sex offender search and sexually violent predator unit
  • Missing and exploited children resource directory
  • Online information for senior safety
  • Enforcement of consumer protection and antitrust laws
You can lodge a complaint with the attorney general’s office pertaining to medical fraud by calling on 360-586-8888 or faxing relevant information on 360-586-8877. For other inquiries and complaints, you can visit the state agency at 1125 Washington Street SEPO Box 40100, Olympia, WA 98504-0100 or contact them on360-753-6200.