ATTORNEY GENERAL GEORGE JEPSEN
George Jepsen is the 24th Attorney General to serve Connecticut since the office was established in 1897. He took office in 2011 and was re-elected in 2014 to a second four-year term.
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.
As Attorney General, Jepsen has focused on reducing healthcare costs by increasing transparency and competition, and by preventing and deterring healthcare fraud. He advocated for stronger consumer protections in Connecticut's competitive electricity market and has vigorously pursued antitrust, environmental, health care, and consumer protection issues. Among other initiatives, Jepsen created a Privacy & Data Security department to focus on data breach and privacy concerns; simplified the process for data breach reporting and consolidated staff to create an Antitrust and Government Program Fraud department.
Attorney General Jepsen is immediate past president of the National Association of Attorneys General and the 2017 recipient of its most prestigious honor, the Kelley-Wyman Award, given annually to the Attorney General who has done the most to achieve NAAG objectives. Among those objectives is "to facilitate interaction among attorneys general as peers, thereby enhancing the performance of attorneys general and their staffs to respond effectively to emerging state and federal legal issues; to coordinate state-federal working groups on topics of mutual concern; to plan and execute a continuing legal education (CLE) program for state lawyers and to serve as a liaison to the federal government in a variety of areas, including environment, consumer protection, criminal law, and appellate advocacy."
As NAAG president, Jepsen's presidential policy initiative focused on "Evolving Challenges in the American Health Care Marketplace: Competition, Cost and Policy Innovation in a Rapidly Changing Industry." His one-year term concluded in June, 2017. Jepsen also serves as a member of the NAAG Executive Committee, as a director of the NAAG Mission Foundation; as co-chairman of the Antitrust Committee and as a member of the Consumer Protection and the NAGTRI Training Committees. He also serves as a NAAG representative on the board of directors for the Truth Initiative (American Legacy Foundation).
Attorney General Jepsen was among the state attorneys general who helped to negotiate a $25 billion federal-state settlement in 2012—the largest in history—with the nation's five largest banks over mortgage foreclosure abuses.
Since then, Connecticut has played a prominent role in a number of notable multistate cases. Connecticut joined Texas and the federal Justice Department to investigate e-book pricing, which led to settlements with five publishing companies in 2012 and 2013, $166 million in consumer refunds and a successful federal suit against Apple for its role in the anti-competitive scheme that netted $400 million for consumers.
Connecticut led an intensive investigation of financial rating agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service for allegedly misrepresenting their analysis of structured securities leading up to the financial crisis in 2008. The investigation and subsequent lawsuits resulted in a $1.375 billion federal-state settlement with S&P in February, 2015 and a nearly $864 million settlement with Moody's in 2016.
Connecticut was one of six lead states in a coalition of more than 40 attorneys general that investigated Volkswagen for marketing, selling and leasing certain diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed emissions defeat devices designed to circumvent emissions standards in violation of state laws prohibiting unfair or deceptive trade practices. The investigation led to a $570 million settlement in June, 2016. Connecticut's share of the civil penalties was approximately $16.3 million.
Connecticut is currently leading a 47-state multistate lawsuit in federal court against six generic drug makers alleging illegal conspiracies in order to unreasonably restrain trade, artificially inflate and manipulate prices and reduce competition in the United States for two generic drugs. Connecticut began investigating in 2014 and the multistate was formed in late 2016.
Among other pending cases, Connecticut is working with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from across the country on an ongoing investigation to evaluate whether pharmaceutical manufacturers have engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing and sale of prescription opioids. The investigation is also looking to identify what role, if any, opioid manufacturers and distributors may have played in exacerbating or prolonging the nation's opioid epidemic.
Prior to his election as Attorney General, Jepsen engaged in the private practice of law. He began his career as general counsel to Carpenters Local 210 and later was in private practice with several prominent firms, most recently Cowdery, Ecker and Murphy, LLC of Hartford, in the areas of corporate transactions and civil and appellate litigation.
Attorney General Jepsen was born on Nov. 23, 1954, in Hattiesburg, Miss., the second of Chuck and Rita Jepsen’s three children. In 1955, the family moved to Greenwich, where Jepsen attended public schools. He graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1976 from Dartmouth College with a B.A. degree in Government with high distinction. He is also a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he concurrently earned a master's degree in public policy in 1982.
Attorney General Jepsen served 16 years in the Connecticut General Assembly as a state representative for Stamford's 148th District, (1988-90) and as a state senator for the 27th District, representing Stamford and Darien (1991-2003). As a state senator, Jepsen was chairman of the Judiciary Committee (1993-1995), ranking member of the Finance Committee (1995-1997) and served as Senate Majority Leader (1997-2003). His legislative record reflects strong advocacy for consumers, civil rights, the environment, protecting women from domestic violence, public safety, and a fair and competitive business climate.
In 2002, he was the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. He served as Democratic State Party chairman from 2003-2005.
Attorney General Jepsen enjoys world travel and is conversational in Chinese, French and Spanish. A former marathon runner, his interests now include cooking international cuisines and reading histories and biographies.
He is married to Diana Sousa and they have two sons, Christian and William.