The Attorneys General
Wayne Stenehjem (R)
North Dakota Attorney General
Elected: 2000, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem was born in Mohall, North Dakota. He graduated from the University of North Dakota and received his law degree from the UND School of Law in 1977. He is married to Beth Bakke Stenehjem and has a son, Andrew.
Stenehjem was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1976, serving for two terms until his election to the ND Senate in 1980. He served continuously in the Senate until his election to the Office of Attorney General. Stenehjem served on the Judiciary Committee throughout his tenure in the Legislature, and was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1995-2000. He was elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate for the 1999 Legislative Session. In January 2001, Stenehjem was sworn in as the State’s 29th Attorney General. He was reelected in 2004 for a second, two year, term.
Since taking office Wayne has:
- Made drug enforcement a priority, proposing legislation to developing a drug enforcement initiative which coordinates law enforcement, health and human service agencies, and as well as addiction counseling, youth education, and stronger penalties for offenders.
- Launched the state’s sex offender website to provide parents and other concerned citizens with access to information about the most dangerous sex offenders in the state. Since its launch, the site has received over 400,000 hits.
- Initiated a state-wide Retailer Meth Watch program, to train retailers and their employees to identify drug-related purchases and work cooperatively with local law enforcement to apprehend the suspects.
- Sued Banner Health System to prevent it from taking funds from the sale of its charitable facilities in North Dakota and removing them from the state. Banner Health agreed to pay $1 million to settle the lawsuit, and also donated the Anne Carlson Children’s Center to the state.
- Established the state’s Do Not Call list, giving North Dakota consumers welcome relief from unwanted telemarketing calls.
- Introduced an online Identity Theft program, designed to provide North Dakota victims with "one click" access to all the information and forms necessary to document and identity theft.
- Sued Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) for alleged violations of the state’s hazardous waste and water pollution laws relating to the fuel contamination of downtown Mandan over several decades. Stenehjem settled the lawsuit for $30.25 million - the largest environmental settlement in the state’s history.
- Proposed legislation to curb the methamphetamine (meth) use and addiction in the state, by restricting retail sales of certain products used to manufacture meth, to provide mandatory treatment for first time drug offenders, and increase criminal penalties for drug offenders.
Attorney General Stenehjem is a member of numerous boards and commissions, including the Board of University and School Lands, "Industrial Commission" (which oversees all state-owned industries), Drug and Alcohol Commission (chair), Judicial Council and Pardon Advisory Board. He is the recipient of “Champion of the People’s Right to Know” award; SBAND Legislative Service Award; Council on Abused Women’s Services award; “Friend of Psychology” award; and was named one of Ten Outstanding Legislators in the US by the Association of Government Employees.