Peter Kilmartin was elected the 73rd Attorney General of Rhode Island in November 2010. His promises to enhance the economic security of Rhode Island, protect the public safety of communities and families, and restore the public trust in state government have been a hallmark of his commitment to the people.
Throughout his 24 years of service as a police officer, 20 years in the State House, and two terms as Attorney General, Peter has been a leader in protecting Rhode Island citizens.
Early Life and Education
A native Rhode Islander, Kilmartin was born on February 18, 1962, and grew up in the city of Pawtucket, where he attended the same neighborhood public school system in which his father Frank taught. His father and his mother, Dot, taught him and his three brothers the importance of honesty, community, and hard work from an early age.
Kilmartin graduated from Tolman High School, and earned his BA and JD from Roger Williams University.
Kilmartin was sworn into the Pawtucket Police Department while still an undergraduate student at Roger Williams University, and soon rose to the rank of captain. As a police officer, Peter knew that he didn’t just want to protect the public; he wanted to be their advocate. He decided to run for state representative, and had a successful 20 year run in the State House serving the people of Rhode Island.
As a state representative, Kilmartin helped pass laws that protected children from predators, created a witness protection program, banned texting while driving, put an end to pension abuses, strengthened domestic violence penalties, and forced health insurance companies to cover reconstructive surgery for women following breast cancer mastectomies.
During his career, Kilmartin received numerous public service awards from a wide array of groups, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), After-School Alliance Plus, Justice Assistance, the Boys and Girls Club, Gateway Health Care and the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, the Rhode Island National Guard, and the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers.
Since being elected Attorney General, Kilmartin has continued to focus on Rhode Islanders’ safety and security, and has strongly advocated for longer prison sentences and stiffer penalties for criminals. He successfully changed the state’s “Good Time” law, prohibiting those who commit heinous crimes against children from earning time off for good behavior while incarcerated. He has advocated for stronger and stiffer sentences for people who illegally possess and use firearms, as well as for those who engage in gang activity.
Kilmartin helped establish specialized prosecution units that focus on specific crimes and victims. His office is active in the Veteran’s Court, setting the goal of successfully rehabilitating veterans by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and providing them the tools they will need to lead a productive, law-abiding life. He also set up a Child Abuse Unit, led by prosecutors, victims’ advocates, and support staff, all trained to handle the emotional and psychological effects associated with physical and sexual abuse of children.
Kilmartin has also led the way in cracking down on public corruption and bringing greater transparency to government, which resulted in the first major update to the state’s Access to Public Records Act in more than 15 years.
Economic security has been another priority for the Attorney General. Kilmartin has taken on Wall Street, holding lenders accountable for foreclosure abuses and mortgage servicing practices. He has also been a leader on consumer issues, fighting to protect vulnerable Rhode Island citizens from predatory practices.
Kilmartin and his wife, Kristine, have been married for 16 years and are actively involved in the community. Together, they founded the Pawtucket Arts Festival, which draws thousands of people from all across Southern New England to Pawtucket every year, serving as an economic and cultural boon to the Rhode Island economy.