Richard Cordray, J.D. was elected Ohio Attorney General in 2008.
Since his election, he has sought to use the power of his office to speak up for ordinary citizens and to battle the ills that weaken our society.
In the wake of the economic crisis, Cordray has taken action to hold Wall Street accountable for wrongdoing. His office is managing several major lawsuits against notable Wall Street firms such as AIG, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, and these efforts have resulted in more than $2.5 billion in settlements to date.
Cordray aggressively pursues scammers who try to make a buck at the expense of Ohioans. He has filed dozens of cease and desist orders against foreclosure rescue scams, which exploit Ohio homeowners who are desperate for help. Ohio consumers filed a record number of consumer complaints with his office in 2009 – more than 30,000 of them – and the office responded by recovering millions in restitution, fines and other compensation. Cordray also opened the office’s consumer complaint process to small businesses and nonprofits for the first time, providing new tools to protect them against vendors that do not play by the rules.
As one of Ohio’s leading law enforcement officials, Cordray has stressed the importance of working with local law enforcement agencies to fight crime and protect Ohioans. Under his administration and with the help of local law enforcement agencies, Ohio became the first state in the nation to fully implement the sex offender registration provisions of the federal Adam Walsh Act. Through the office’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Cordray and his staff have reduced the number of pending cases for laboratory and other tests that law enforcement officials and prosecutors rely on to make their cases and pursue justice for Ohioans.
A strong advocate for veterans, Cordray proposed a service bonus for veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars. More than seven in 10 voters approved the bonus in November 2009.
During his accomplished legal career, Cordray has personally argued seven cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Among them was a case he argued as attorney general in 2009, when he won a unanimous Supreme Court decision to reinstate the death sentence of a man convicted in a hate-inspired shooting spree that killed three people.
Cordray previously served as Ohio treasurer, Franklin County treasurer, state representative and as Ohio’s first solicitor general. He also was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Byron White.
For his service to Ohioans, Cordray has been honored with numerous awards, including the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s Henry B. Gonzalez Award for partnering with community nonprofits to help traditionally underserved people build wealth and economic opportunity; the Ohio Children’s Defense Fund’s Children’s Champion Award for fighting to ensure a level playing field for all children; the Vietnam Veterans of America Buckeye State Council’s Presidential Citation Award for supporting veterans; the Better Business Bureau Serving Northwestern Ohio and Southeastern Michigan’s Award of Appreciation for promoting an ethical marketplace; and the NeighborWorks America’s Government Service Award as the foremost national leader in state government for working to prevent foreclosures.
Cordray earned a master’s degree with first-class honors from Oxford University in England and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was editor of the Law Review. He lives near Grove City with his wife, Peggy, and their twins. His earliest claim to fame was as an undefeated five-time champion on the “Jeopardy!” TV show.