Smart Voter June 2, 1998 Primary - California

California State Attorney General
Duties and Responsibilities

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Reprinted with permission from the California State website. Original source.

The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer of the state and is elected at the same time and places as the Governor for a maximum of two four-year terms.

To be eligible for the office of Attorney General is necessary to have been admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court for a period of at least five years immediately preceding election or appointment. While holding office, the Attorney General is prohibited from engaging in the private practice of law and is required to devote his entire time to the service of the state.

It is the duty of the Attorney General to see that the laws of the state are uniformly and adequately enforced in every county. He has direct supervision over every district attorney, sheriff, and such other law enforcement officers as may be designated by law, in all matters pertaining to the duties of their respective offices.

The Attorney General is the head of the Department of Justice, and, as such, he is the attorney in charge of all legal matters in which the state is interested, except the business of the Regents of the University of California or such other boards or officers as are authorized to employ their own attorneys

It is also the duty of the Attorney General to give his opinion on questions of law, in writing, to the Legislature, to the Governor, the Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, State Lands Commission, Superintendent of Public Instruction, any state agency prohibited by law from employing legal counsel other than the Attorney General, and any district attorney, when required by their respective offices. He serves as legal adviser to all the state departments, as well as other important state boards and commissions.

[Taken from: California's Legislature (1994). Republished with permission.]

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