Neronha Steps Down As US Attorney

Mar 11, 2017

Neronha, center, during a news conference earlier this year.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha is among the Obama-era federal prosecutors who stepped down Friday following a request from the Trump administration.

Neronha, who was appointed by President Obama in 2009, oversaw corruption prosecutions of former House speaker Gordon Fox and former House Finance Committee chairman Ray Gallison during his tenure as the state's top federal prosecutor.

"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. "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 the president, for their confidence in me."

 Neronha is considered a possible Democratic candidate for attorney general in 2018. He did not make himself available to reporters Friday, and recently told RIPR that he enjoys public service, but is undecided on a possible political campaign.

A Jamestown native, Neronha graduated from Boston College and Boston College Law School.

It remains unclear who will succeed Neronha as Rhode Island's US attorney. Speculation has focused in part on state GOP National Committeeman Steven Frias, a Republican who lost a very close legislative race last year to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello. State GOP Chairman Brandon Bell did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.