On October 3, 2017, Peter F. Neronha announced his candidacy, as a Democrat, for Rhode Island Attorney General. In public service for over twenty years, he has represented the people of Rhode Island as a Rhode Island Assistant Attorney General, as an Assistant United States Attorney, and as the United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island, at the appointment of President Barack Obama. As Attorney General, Neronha would build on and prioritize the work he did as U.S. Attorney: combat public corruption, take on the opioid public health crisis, and bring a “smart” approach to violent crime reduction, by emphasizing strategic targeting of the most violent offenders while at the same advocating for effective prevention and re-entry programs. Neronha is committed to standing up to the Trump administration when its environmental, civil rights and other policies negatively impact Rhode Islanders.
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.
Neronha lives in his hometown of Jamestown, R.I. with his wife Shelly, a primary care physician, and their two sons, Zach and Josh.