Attorney General William Tong's Senior Staff



Attorney General William Tong and Deputy Attorney General Margaret Q. (Peggy) Chapple along with six attorneys – Joseph Rubin, Antoria Howard, Erik Lohr, Vanessa Avery, Clare Kindall and Sandra Arenas – comprise the Office of the Attorney General's leadership team. Combined, the six attorneys have more than 110 years of experience in the Office of the Attorney General. From overseeing all aspects of affirmative enforcement by the office, to managing the Office of the Attorney General's staff, to assisting consumers, the office's leadership is committed to protecting consumers from fraud and abuse and standing up for all of Connecticut's residents.







Attorney General


Attorney General William TongWilliam 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.


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, Tong helped lead passage of landmark legislation, including the Connecticut Second Chance Act, Domestic Violence Restraining Order Act, Lost and Stolen Firearms Act, the Act Protecting Homeowner Rights, and the Act Protecting Schoolchildren.

A Connecticut native, Tong grew up in the Hartford area and attended 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.




Deputy Attorney General


Peggy ChappleMargaret Q. (Peggy) Chapple was appointed by Attorney General William Tong to serve as Deputy Attorney General in January 2019.


Peggy has worked with the Connecticut Attorney General's Office for more than 30 years. From 2013 until 2015, she served as Associate Attorney General for Litigation and oversaw the office's litigation activities. She also served as Associate Attorney General for Administration and Management, where her responsibilities included professional staff development and training.


She joined the Attorney General’s office in 1985 and was initially assigned to the office’s Public Safety Department, where she represented the Connecticut Department of Correction and Department of Public Safety in civil rights and employment litigation.


She served as Department Head in the Public Safety Department from 1997 until 2001 and was the Department Head in the office’s newly-created Employment Rights Department from 2001 until April 2011, when Attorney General George Jepsen appointed her to the Associate Attorney General position.


Peggy received her undergraduate degree from Southern Connecticut State University, an M.S.W. from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and her law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law.


She and her husband, Wayne, live in Granby. They have four children and seven grandchildren.





Assistant Deputy Attorney General


Joe Rubin was appointed as Assistant Deputy Attorney General in January 2019 by Attorney General William Tong.

In this role, he assists the Deputy Attorney General as needed and is responsible for reviewing major state contracts and regulations, tobacco issues, supervision of prosecution of fraudulent home improvement contractors, and supervision or leadership in other important individual and multi-state trials and appeals at all levels.


Joe has been a member of the Attorney General's Office since 1985. From 1989 to 1997, he was head of the Office's Environment Department, supervising and sometimes leading extensive litigation advancing environmental protection and other matters. From 1997 to 2019, he was an Associate Attorney General.

As a member of the executive staff, his responsibilities included advising the Attorney General and leading some of the office's largest, longest and most consequential litigation, including a trial and appeal concerning the constitutionality of the state's methods of financing public education and a complex multi-state arbitration about financial issues related to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. 

Prior to joining the Attorney General's Office, Joe taught and supervised law students in clinical practice in Washington, D.C., and taught trial practice to law students.

He was in private practice in Hartford from 1977 to 1985, engaging primarily in criminal defense and plaintiffs' civil litigation.

He holds a B.A from Yale, a J.D. from Harvard and was a graduate student in clinical trial advocacy at Georgetown University Law Center.



Assistant Deputy Attorney General for Administration and Management


Antoria D. Howard Antoria D. Howard serves as the Associate Attorney General for Administration and Management, a position she has held since 2013.


In this role, she is responsible for the overall management of the staff of the Office of the Attorney General, including overseeing the budget of the office, as well as human resources. She also is responsible for staff development, professional training, office policies and procedures. Antoria is a faculty and advisory board member of the National Association of Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI).


Antoria joined the Office of the Attorney General in 1997, and was assigned to the Public Safety Department. In this department, she represented the Connecticut State Police and the Department of Correction, among other agencies, in state and federal court.


In 2001, Antoria transferred to the Employment Rights Department, which was a newly-created department established to handle all employment-related matters for all state agencies. In this department, she defended state agencies, employees and officials in court and at administrative agencies in employment discrimination actions. Antoria is an experienced litigator having tried many state and federal court cases to verdict.   


Antoria was appointed as Department Head of the Employment Rights Department in 2011 where she supervised a staff of attorneys, paralegals and administrative professionals, in addition to advising state agencies on employment-related issues.


Prior to the Attorney General's Office, Antoria was an Adjudicator and an Administrative Hearings Attorney at the Department of Public Health. She also spent several years in private practice where she specialized in housing and family law.


Antoria received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and her law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Antoria is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, where she attended public and private schools. She is married, has two sons, and currently resides in Bloomfield.



Solicitor General / Chief of the Division of Appeals


Clare Kindall Clare Kindall was appointed as Solicitor General of Connecticut by Attorney General William Tong in 2019. In this role she oversees all appellate civil litigation for the state, is responsible for all formal opinions of the Attorney General, and manages all multi-state amicus appellate matters.


Prior to her appointment, she served as an Assistant Attorney General for 20 years after joining the Office of the Attorney General in 1998. As Assistant Attorney General, Clare oversaw all aspects of complex civil litigation matters in federal and state courts, and represented more than 20 state agencies and worked with 11 of the current 15 departments within the Office of the Attorney General.


In April 2011, she was appointed to lead the Office of the Attorney General's Energy Department where she conducted and supervised all litigation in federal and state courts and federal agencies on behalf of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and Connecticut ratepayers. The Energy Department has successfully prosecuted lawsuits that have recovered more than $140 million, helping to reduce rates charged to consumers for electricity.


An Order of the Coif graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Clare's legal career began at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., where she practiced general litigation and served six months at Neighborhood Legal Services. Before joining the Office of the Attorney General, Clare litigated for Shipman & Goodwin in Hartford and spent eight months working as in-house counsel for a major insurance company.


Over her almost 30-year career, in addition to extensive trial experience, Clare has handled numerous appeals before the Connecticut Appellate Court, the Connecticut Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth and D.C. Circuits. She has also submitted pleadings to the U.S. Supreme Court, and looks forward to the opportunity to earn her quill while serving as Solicitor General.


Clare is a board member and chairwoman of West Hartford Fellowship Housing's Redevelopment Committee and serves as a board member of the High Hill Neighborhood Association. She resides in Bloomfield with her husband Mark and their son.



Associate Attorney General / Chief of the Division of Civil Litigation


Erik Lohr Erik Lohr was appointed by Attorney General William Tong to serve as the Associate Attorney General for Legal Counsel where he leads the office in its defensive litigation work.


Erik has served in the Office of the Attorney General since 2008, first as an Assistant Attorney General in its Child Protection Department, and then as the head of its Employment Rights Department. 


Prior to law school, Erik served as a Reactor Operator aboard a U.S. Navy fast attack nuclear submarine, and as a staff instructor at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit formerly located in Windsor, Connecticut.


Erik is an honors graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law, and has been an active member of its adjunct faculty for more than a decade, teaching at least one course every year since 2007. 


Immediately following law school, Erik was a Litigation Associate at Tyler, Cooper & Alcorn, LLP, in Hartford, Connecticut. From 2003 to 2008, Erik was a Connecticut state prosecutor (trial and appellate) in the Office of the Chief State's Attorney.



Associate Attorney General / Chief of the Division of Enforcement and Public Protection


Vanessa AveryVanessa Avery was appointed as the Associate Attorney General for Enforcement, Litigation and Investigations at the Connecticut Attorney General's Office by Attorney General William Tong in 2019.


In this role, she manages all aspects of affirmative enforcement by the office, including multi-district litigation and investigations involving the opioid epidemic, the Affordable Care Act, federal immigration laws, and environmental regulation, as well as cases pending locally in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies.


Her areas of responsibility include antitrust and government program fraud, child protection, collections and child support, consumer protection, environmental enforcement, finance and energy, health and education, privacy and data security, transportation, workers’ compensation and labor relations.


Prior to joining the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, Vanessa was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut. She handled a broad variety of cases on behalf of the United States, its agencies and employees, including affirmative civil enforcement, defense contractor fraud, health care fraud, other False Claims Act violations, civil rights, environmental, and asset forfeiture cases, as well as medical malpractice, Bivens, FOIA and employment defense. She represented the office on the Local Civil Rules Advisory Committee for the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut.  She previously served as a Trial Attorney for the Department of Justice Civil Division in Washington, D.C.


Vanessa spent more than a decade in private law firm practice representing corporate and individual clients in business and financial litigation, at the trial and appellate court levels. She also counseled clients, in appropriate cases, to curtail disputes and resolve contested matters through mediation or direct settlement negotiations. Throughout her career in the private sector, Vanessa also served as a pro bono advocate for children, adults and non-profit entities in a variety of cases.


Vanessa earned her law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center, after completing her undergraduate studies at Yale University. She is a past President of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association and she currently serves on its Advisory Board. Vanessa also serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, where she is a James W. Cooper Life Fellow.



Associate Attorney General / Chief of the Division of Constituents and Affairs


Sandra G. Arenas was appointed as the Special Associate Attorney General for Constituent and Consumer Affairs in 2019 by Attorney General William Tong after he was sworn-in to office on Jan. 9, 2019. In this role, Sandra handles all matters relating to consumer and constituent concerns.


Prior to her appointment, Sandra served as an Assistant Attorney General for 22 years in the Consumer Assistant Unit in the Department of Consumer Protection. She was responsible for mediating disputes between consumers and retail businesses and recovered in mediation approximately $1.5 million for consumers. Sandra also investigated violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUPTA) and enforced the act in Connecticut.


Prior to joining the Connecticut Attorney General's Office, Sandra worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Harlem Regional Office of the Attorney General. In this role, she litigated civil and criminal cases under New York Consumer Protection laws and conducted and participated in consumer outreach to the Latino community.


After graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law, Sandra started her legal career at a law office in Bronx, New York where she worked as an Associate Attorney for two years.