| Sheldon Whitehouse |
|Born||October 20, 1955|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale University, University of Virginia|
|Relatives|| • Henry John Whitehouse|
• Charles Crocker
Senator from Rhode Island since 2007
Sheldon Whitehouse is an American lawyer and politician serving as the junior United States senator from Rhode Island since 2007. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a United States Attorney from 1993 to 1998 and the 71st attorney general of Rhode Island from 1999 to 2003.
President Bill Clinton appointed Whitehouse United States Attorney for Rhode Island in 1994. Whitehouse held the position for four years. With the 1996 extortion conviction of mobster Gerard Ouimette, he was the first prosecutor to convict a member of organized crime under Clinton's "three strikes law". Whitehouse also initiated the investigation into municipal corruption in Rhode Island that led to Operation Plunder Dome, in which Mayor of Providence Vincent "Buddy" Cianci was eventually convicted on conspiracy charges.
State Attorney General
In 1998, Whitehouse was elected Rhode Island Attorney General. He initiated a lawsuit against the lead paint industry that ended in a mistrial; the state later won a second lawsuit against former lead paint manufacturers Sherwin-Williams, Millennium Holdings, and NL Industries that found them responsible for creating a public nuisance. This decision, however, was unanimously overturned by the Rhode Island Supreme Court on July 1, 2008. The Court found that under Rhode Island law it is the responsibility of property owners to abate and mitigate lead hazards.
Politically progressive, Whitehouse backs federal funding for stem cell research, supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage, has lambasted the 2003 Iraq war as well as the nomination of Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court. Unlike his Republican predecessor, Whitehouse is a supporter of the death penalty, at least at the federal level.
- Peter B. Lord, "3 companies found liable in lead-paint nuisance suit," The Providence Journal, February 23, 2006.