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Patrick C. Lynch

Patrick C. Lynch

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Patrick C. Lynch is Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

's Attorney General
Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

. He has overseen the investigation and prosecution of the second-deadliest fire in Rhode Island history and also successfully sued former lead paint
Lead paint
Lead paint or lead-based paint is paint containing lead, a heavy metal, that is used as pigment, with lead chromate and lead carbonate being the most common. Lead is also added to paint to speed drying, increase durability, retain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion...

Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 for cleanup
Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from dirt, and the process of achieving and maintaining that state.Cleanliness may be endowed with a moral quality, as indicated by the aphorism "cleanliness is next to godliness," and may be regarded as contributing to other ideals...

In production, research, retail, and accounting, a cost is the value of money that has been used up to produce something, and hence is not available for use anymore. In business, the cost may be one of acquisition, in which case the amount of money expended to acquire it is counted as cost. In this...

s associated with their old products. He easily won reelection in 2006.

He has two children, Kelsey and Graham.

His brother is William J. Lynch, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Rhode Island.

Early career

While attending St. Raphael Academy
St. Raphael Academy
Saint Raphael Academy is a Roman Catholic, coeducational, college preparatory school in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA. It was founded in the tradition of Saint John Baptist de Lasalle and rooted in the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Academy welcomes students that are academically, economically,...

 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Pawtucket is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 71,148 at the 2010 census. It is the fourth largest city in the state.-History:...

, Lynch excelled at basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 and baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

. He went on to attend Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

, where he led the basketball team to its first Ivy League Championship and its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...


He graduated from Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

 with a B.S.
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

 in Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 and Political Science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 in 1987 and took graduate courses at Queen's University of Belfast
Queen's University of Belfast
Queen's University Belfast is a public research university in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The university's official title, per its charter, is the Queen's University of Belfast. It is often referred to simply as Queen's, or by the abbreviation QUB...

 while playing professional basketball in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 and taking part in a program called Sports Corps, modeled after the Peace Corps
Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand US culture, and helping...


After returning to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Lynch earned a J.D.
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 from Suffolk University Law School
Suffolk University Law School
Suffolk University Law School, also known as Suffolk Law School or SULS, is one of the professional graduate schools of Suffolk University. Suffolk University Law School is a private, non-sectarian, law school located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Suffolk University Law School was founded in...

 in 1992. He then worked for two years as a clerk for Presiding Superior Court
Superior court
In common law systems, a superior court is a court of general competence which typically has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to civil and criminal legal cases...

 Joseph Rodgers, Jr., and then joined the R.I. attorney general's office in 1994. Lynch was eventually named lead prosecutor of the state's Organized Crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 Unit. In 1999, Lynch joined Rhode Island law firm
Law firm
A law firm is a business entity formed by one or more lawyers to engage in the practice of law. The primary service rendered by a law firm is to advise clients about their legal rights and responsibilities, and to represent clients in civil or criminal cases, business transactions, and other...

 Tillinghast Licht Perkins Smith & Cohen, where he worked until being elected attorney general.

Political career

Lynch formally announced his candidacy in March 2002 after incumbent Sheldon Whitehouse
Sheldon Whitehouse
Sheldon Whitehouse is the junior U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party...

 announced he would run for governor. Lynch was a well connected member of the Democratic Party - his father was a former Mayor of Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Pawtucket is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 71,148 at the 2010 census. It is the fourth largest city in the state.-History:...

 and his brother was serving as Chairman of the R.I. Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. Lynch faced J. William Harsch, a former director of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, who ran as an independent but had the endorsement of the state Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. Lynch won the election with 62 percent of the vote.

While in office, Lynch has advocated for stricter laws regarding drunken-driving and the use of handguns. He has also proposed measures that would link school attendance rates and teenagers' driving privileges, increase penalties against people who provide alcohol to minors, and require school districts to put in place anti-bullying and school-safety plans. He has also called for community prosecution, and has paired state prosecutors with police personnel in Providence Police Department's neighborhood precincts with the goal of timely prosecution of drug crimes, robbery, and assault.

Lynch has hung a plaque in his office with a quote from Spider-Man
Spider-Man is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15...

, "With great power comes great responsibility." Lynch said he got the inspiration for the plaque from his son, who said it before his inauguration
An inauguration is a formal ceremony to mark the beginning of a leader's term of office. An example is the ceremony in which the President of the United States officially takes the oath of office....

 in 2003.

The Station nightclub fire

One of Lynch's first responsibilities as attorney general was to oversee the criminal investigation of the February 20, 2003, Station nightclub fire
The Station nightclub fire
The Station nightclub fire was the fourth deadliest nightclub fire in American history, killing 100 people. The fire began at 11:07 PM EST, on Thursday, February 20, 2003, at The Station, a glam metal and rock n roll themed nightclub located at 211 Cowesett Avenue in West Warwick, Rhode Island.The...

 in West Warwick
West Warwick, Rhode Island
West Warwick is a town in Kent County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 29,191 at the 2010 census.West Warwick was incorporated in 1913, making it the youngest town in the state. Prior to 1913, the town, situated on the western bank of the Pawtuxet River, was the population and...

. With 100 deaths and many more injuries, the fire was the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history and the second-deadliest fire ever in Rhode Island, trailing only the U.S.S. Bennington fire that claimed 103 lives in the 1950s. The criminal investigation led to the sentencing of Daniel Biechele, the tour manager of the band whose pyrotechnics started the fire, and also resulted in no-contest pleas
Nolo contendere
is a legal term that comes from the Latin for "I do not wish to contend." It is also referred to as a plea of no contest.In criminal trials, and in some common law jurisdictions, it is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of...

 by the two co-owners of the nightclub.

Lead paint lawsuit

Lynch has also continued to pursue a lawsuit against lead paint manufactures that was initiated by Whitehouse, his predecessor. The initial lawsuit ended in a mistrial while Whitehouse was in office. Lynch won a second lawsuit against Sherwin Williams Co.
Sherwin-Williams Company
The Sherwin-Williams Company is an American Fortune 500 company in the general building materials industry. The company primarily engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers primarily in...

, NL Industries, and Millennium Holdings, LLC., all former lead paint manufacturers. Another company, Atlantic Richfield Co.
Atlantic Richfield Company is an oil company with operations in the United States as well as in Indonesia, the North Sea, and the South China Sea. It has more than 1,300 gas stations in the western part of the United States. ARCO was originally formed by the merger of East Coast-based Atlantic...

, was acquitted by the jury. The case was closely monitored by other states and municipalities interested in whether former lead paint manufacturers are liable for problems their products caused after they stopped manufacturing it.

DuPont Co.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

 settled out of court in June 2005, agreeing to pay $12 million to the Children's Health Forum. The agency agreed to use the money for lead paint abatement efforts and education campaigns. Lynch has since been criticized for accepting $4,250 in contributions from DuPont lawyers and lobbyists, and his opponent in the 2006 elections filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Ethics Commission. Lynch has denied that the donations were related to the lawsuit, and a lawyer for DuPont who accounted (with his wife) for $2,500 of the donations called the complaint "rubbish."

Lynch has also been criticized for the arrangement his office made with the law firm Motley Rice, which prosecuted the case. The firm agreed to cover the costs of the case in return for 16 2/3 percent of whatever damages the company won. Critics have charged that this kind of relationship between law firm and government is improper because the law firms stand to benefit from a guilty verdict.

2008 Presidential race: Endorsement of Barack Obama

Lynch was the second of the only two superdelegates in Rhode Island to publicly endorsed Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary on February 9, 2008. The first being Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy
Patrick J. Kennedy
Patrick Joseph Kennedy II is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 1995 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes all of Bristol County and Newport County, and parts of Providence County. Kennedy did not seek re-election in 2010.A member of the Kennedy...

 on January 28, 2008. Ultimately, Barack Obama lost the Rhode Island Democratic primary
Rhode Island Democratic primary, 2008
The 2008 Rhode Island Democratic primary took place on March 4, 2008. It was an open primary. 21 delegates were awarded on a proportional basis. Rhode Island's delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention also included 11 superdelegates whose votes were not bound by the results of the...

 on March 4, 2008 to Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the...


Gubernatorial campaign

On May 22, 2009, Lynch announced his candidacy for Governor of Rhode Island in the 2010 gubernatorial election
Rhode Island gubernatorial election, 2010
The Rhode Island gubernatorial election of 2010 was held on November 2, 2010. It was preceded by the primary election on September 14, 2010. Incumbent Republican Governor Donald Carcieri was term-limited in 2010...


On August 6, 2009, Lynch was warned by the State Board of Elections that he needed to more carefully disclose his campaign spending. At issue was some $9,000 in petty cash transactions that were not properly documented. The State Board of Elections did not fine Lynch whose campaign filed corrected paperwork amidst being confronted with the issue. The complaint was filed by the Rhode Island Republican Party.

On July 15, 2010, Lynch announced his exit from the Governors race, and endorsed fellow Democrat Frank Caprio. In his statement, Lynch said: "I did not enter public service to become a footnote in history by injuring my party, resulting in the election of a governor who is not equipped to guide our wonderful State into the future it deserves."

Election history

2006 General Election
Candidate Votes %
Patrick C. Lynch (D) 217,324 59.51%
J. William W. Harsch (R) 147,489 40.49%
Patrick C. Lynch (D) reelected Attorney General.

2002 General Election
Candidate Votes %
Patrick C. Lynch (D) 191,488
J. William W. Harsch (R) 119,117
Patrick C. Lynch (D) elected Attorney General.

External links