The mission of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is to enforce the laws of the District of Columbia, provide legal services to the District government, and independently and objectively pursue the public interest.
Summary of Services
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is charged with conducting the District’s legal business. OAG represents the District in virtually all civil and commercial litigation, prosecutes certain criminal offenses, has sole jurisdiction over juvenile prosecutions, and represents the District in a variety of administrative hearings and other proceedings. In addition, OAG is responsible for advising the Executive Office of the Mayor, the Council of the District of Columbia, and various Boards and Commissions, and for determining the legal sufficiency of proposed legislation, regulations, and commercial transactions. All told, the Attorney General supervises the legal work of about 272 attorneys and an additional 315 administrative/professional staff. As a newly independent agency with an elected Attorney General, OAG also pursues the public interest.
On November 2, 2010, 76 percent of District voters, acting by referendum, approved a Council-enacted amendment to the District of Columbia Home Rule Act to make, for the first time, the Attorney General of the District of Columbia an elected office. The Council also enacted amendments to local District law designed to establish OAG as an independent agency. Previously, the Attorney General had been appointed by, and operated under the direction of, the Mayor. The overall purpose of the Attorney General Act and the attendant changes to Home Rule Act was to elevate and strengthen the position of Attorney General, ensure the position’s independence, and significantly enhance the Attorney General’s ability to serve the interests of the District of Columbia in an objective and independent fashion.
The 2014 election was the culmination of a grassroots referendum that demanded an Attorney General who would be directly accountable to residents and bound to pursue the public interest. As an independent office no longer subordinate to the Mayor, OAG was elevated, strengthened, and empowered to serve the interests of the District of Columbia in an objective and independent fashion.
In FY 2017, with appropriate funding, OAG can expand the depth and breadth of the work it performs in three crucial priority areas: (1) Protecting Taxpayers and Enforcing Honest Government; (2) Building Safer Communities; and (3) Consumer Protection and Community Outreach. OAG continues to focus on the dual goals of ensuring that it continues to provide high-quality legal representation to the District of Columbia and District agencies while simultaneously serving the public interest by creating programs to address the needs of District residents in new and creative ways.