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Neronha Resigns as U.S. Attorney at Request of U.S. Attorney General Sessions

[CREDIT:] U.S. Attorney (RI) Peter Neronha.
[CREDIT:] U.S. Attorney (RI) Peter Neronha.
PROVIDENCE, RI – United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha (RI) today announced his resignation, effective at midnight, following U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ request for the resignation of all 46 United States Attorneys appointed by President Obama.

The request for the resignation of US attorneys, who are political appointees, is routine following the election of a new president. Not every new administration replaces every US Attorney simultaneously, however. According to a report from, the requests for resignations includes Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who had been asked to remain in November by Donald Trump, who was president-elect at the time.

“It has been the honor and privilege of my professional life to serve the people of Rhode Island as United States Attorney for nearly eight years,” Neronha said in a statement released Friday evening.

“Since being elected Attorney General, I have had the professional pleasure of working with Peter Neronha.  I consider him not only a colleague, but a dear friend,” said RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.

“When I began my career in public service as a state prosecutor over twenty years ago, I never could have anticipated what the future would hold.  I am incredibly grateful to President Obama, and to Senators Reed and Whitehouse, who recommended me to the President, for their confidence in me,” Neronha said.

“Our offices have shared an unprecedented level of cooperation, something that is envied by other attorneys general across the nation, and have worked together to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of Rhode Island.  We have stood next to one another in prosecuting political corruption, sex trafficking, drug trafficking, and violent crime.  We share a philosophy that the interests of justice come before taking credit.

“I have met and worked with so many great and talented people along the way, both in law enforcement and in the community, and we have done so much together.  We have faced so many challenges, from the steady stream of public corruption cases to the scourge of human trafficking, particularly child sex trafficking.  International drug cartels and prescription pill misuse have caused our ongoing opioid and heroin public health crisis, threatening the lives of children and adults alike.  Violent crime, and a criminal justice system not best equipped to deal with it, has challenged us to rethink our mission as prosecutors and law enforcement – to understand that prevention and effective re-entry for those who have paid their debt to society have their place alongside smart enforcement,” Neronha said.

“I am disappointed the President and the United States Attorney General chose to place politics over professionalism.  While the position may be a political appointment and the person serves at the pleasure of the President, Peter managed the office with zero political influence, as it should be. He served with the great integrity and treated each person fairly and with compassion,” Kilmartin said.

Neronha, the 39th person appointed United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island, began a career of public service in 1996 as a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General.  In 2002, Neronha joined the United States Attorney’s Office as an Assistant United States Attorney. Since becoming United States Attorney, Neronha has twice been appointed to terms on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, by Attorney General Eric Holder in 2009, and by Attorney General Loretta Lynch in 2016.  The AGAC regularly meets with and advises the Attorney General on policy, management and operational issues impacting all 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices nationwide.

A fourth generation native of Jamestown, Neronha attended North Kingstown High School, and in 1985 graduated summa cum laude from Boston College.  He attended Boston College Law School, where he was a member of the Boston College Law Review.  Upon graduation, he joined the Boston, Massachusetts law firm, Goodwin Procter, LLP.


“Whatever we have accomplished, none of it would have been possible without the dedication and outstanding ability of the men and women of the Office I have been so fortunate to lead.  Some have been my colleagues for nearly fifteen years, and I will miss them all, very, very much.  Given the nature of this job there is never a perfect time to step away.  With enormous gratitude toward those who have been so supportive during my tenure, my family and I look forward to the next chapter of our lives.”

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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