About Peter Neronha

On my father’s side, I am a descendent of a Portuguese fisherman who came to this country from the Azores in the late 1800’s and settled in Jamestown. His son, my grandfather, worked his entire life in the engine rooms of the Jamestown ferries, both from Jamestown to the mainland and from Jamestown to Newport. He was on the boats during the Great Hurricane of 1938, though he lost his car when it was washed away by the tidal wave that swept through the West Ferry.

My father served in the Korean War as a forward air traffic controller, rising to Staff Sergeant, and joined the Ferry Company when he came home. He later ran the toll collecting operation at the Newport (later the Pell) Bridge, until he retired in the late 1990’s. He is still working today, as a bus monitor in Jamestown.

My mother is the youngest child of German farmers, who came to this country as a young woman in the late 1950’s. She worked in a bakery and learned to speak English by taking classes at Rogers High School at night.

Together, she and my father raised their three children in Jamestown, and though they never attended themselves, they worked hard to send all of us to college, and my brother and me to law school.

I have deep roots in Rhode Island

I went to North Kingstown High School like every other Jamestown kid in those days, and proudly graduated with the class of 1981. I then went to Boston College, graduating in 1985, and went on to Boston College Law School, graduating in 1989. After graduation, I joined the Boston law firm, Goodwin Procter. While living in Boston, I met my wife Shelly, an M.I.T. and Stanford Medical School graduate then doing her residency in internal medicine.

By the mid-1990’s, we were ready for a change. In 1996, we moved to my hometown, Jamestown. Shelly joined a small primary care practice in South County, and I joined the Attorney General’s Office. And we started our family. We have two terrific sons, Zach and Josh.

Peter Neronha

As Attorney General, Peter:

  • Created a Violent Crime Task Force targeting illegal firearms and those who drive
    violence in our communities and targeted untraceable ghost guns that allow criminals to avoid background check requirements.
  • Held major opioid companies accountable by securing nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in settlements for their roles in the opioid public health crisis, which will fund drug treatment and life-saving health care in R.I.
  • Advocated for the passage of the Reproductive Privacy Act in 2019, and in 2022,
    successfully defended the law against a legal challenge in state court.
  • Protected Roger Williams and Fatima hospitals from bankruptcy, saving jobs and mandating an $80 million safety net when their billionaire out-of-state owners tried to offload the community hospitals.
  • Led a major effort to eliminate lead paint that harms children's health in R.I. by holding irresponsible landlords accountable.
  • Fought to keep energy costs low when he stepped in during the sale of Narragansett electric to Rhode Island Energy and secured over 200 million dollars in value for Rhode Islanders.
  • Serves as a watchdog to protect Rhode Islanders against scams and businesses that don’t play by the rules.
  • Protected our state’s natural environment by assessing the largest penalty ever under R.I.’s Clean Air Act against an auto shredding company that polluted our air, and by securing over $18 million in settlements against gas refiners to fund contamination clean-up.
  • Leads the fight against wage theft by prosecuting crooked employers who took advantage of their workers.
Peter Noronha

As United States Attorney, Peter:

Peter Neronha
  • Aggressively fought public corruption, including successful prosecutions against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the House of Representatives Finance Chair, the Mayor of Central Falls, and three North Providence Town Councilmen
  • Took on the ongoing heroin/opioid public health crisis, bringing major cases against cartel-linked drug trafficking organizations and engaging in prevention outreach to adults and over 10,000 high school students across Rhode Island
  • Prioritized and dramatically increased the number of child sex trafficking prosecutions, and, with public and private partners, developed state-wide protocols for investigation of cases and treatment of victims
  • Investigated Google for assisting non-U.S., on-line pharmacies illegally importing opioids and other drugs into the United States, resulting in a forfeiture by Google of $500 million and the return of $230 million to Rhode Island
  • Brought a smart and effective approach to reducing violent crime, by focusing on law enforcement efforts on individuals driving violent crime, while also focusing on crime prevention and successful re-entry
  • Protected consumers by prosecuting mortgage fraud and identity theft cases
  • Safeguarded the environment, enforced civil rights, and protected public money from waste and abuse