National Association of Attorneys General
William Tong is the 25th Attorney General to serve Connecticut since the office was established in 1897. He took office on January 9, 2019 as the first Asian American elected at the statewide level, in Connecticut.
The Attorney General is a constitutional officer and the chief legal officer for civil matters. With a staff of approximately 200 attorneys, the Office of the Attorney General serves as legal counsel to all state agencies. Under state statutes and the Connecticut Constitution, the Attorney General has authority over all civil matters and is responsible for representing the people of Connecticut and the broader public interest.
The Attorney General advocates on behalf of the state and its citizens; ensures state government acts within the letter and spirit of the law; protects public resources; works to preserve and enhance quality of life in Connecticut, and to safeguard the rights of the most vulnerable citizens. On an operating budget of $30 million, the Office generated $636.3 million in revenues to the state for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017.
Before his election as Attorney General, Tong served for 12 years in Connecticut’s General Assembly representing the 147th District, which includes North Stamford and Darien. Most recently, Tong served as House Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. In this position Tong was responsible for all legislation related to constitutional law, criminal law, civil rights, consumer protection, probate, judicial nominations and the Judicial branch, and major areas of substantive law.
During his service in the legislature, Representative Tong has personally helped to write and has led passage of landmark legislation such as:
- Connecticut’s Second Chance Society law (Public Act 15-2), an overhaul of Connecticut’s criminal justice system that eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug possession crimes that have resulted in the mass incarceration of young people, particularly in our cities;
- the Domestic Violence Restraining Order Bill (Public Act 16-34), which takes guns away from domestic violence abusers when the victim seeks to protect themselves with a temporary restraining order;
- the Lost and Stolen Firearms law (Public Act 07-163), a law to fight gun trafficking and to get guns off our streets;
- an Act Protecting Homeowner Rights (Public Act 13-136), a law to protect homeowners in foreclosure in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis; and
- an Act Protecting Schoolchildren, a tough new law that holds teachers and school officials accountable for failing to report instances of abuse and sexual misconduct by teachers and administrators involving students (Public Act 15-205).
A Connecticut native, Tong grew up in the Hartford area, attending public and private schools in West Hartford. He graduated from Phillips Academy Andover, Brown University and the University of Chicago Law School. He has practiced law for the last 18 years as a litigator in both state and federal courts, first at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, in New York City and for the past 15 years at Finn Dixon & Herling LLP, in Stamford.
Tong is the oldest of five children, and grew up working side-by-side with his immigrant parents in their family’s Chinese restaurant. He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Stamford with their three children and too many pets. Elizabeth is Vice President of Tax for North America for Diageo Corporation.