Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin filed legislation this week to seek General Assembly approval to name the new Office of Attorney General Customer Service Center after former Attorney General Julius Michaelson.
Michaelson was first elected as Attorney General in 1974 and served two terms until 1979. He is considered the architect of many customer service protection laws in Rhode Island and spearheaded one of the country's first Consumer Protection Divisions in 1974.
Located at 4 Howard Avenue in Cranston, the Customer Service Center will house the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI), Consumer Protection Unit (CPU), and Diversion Unit, as well as flexible office space for attorneys.
"Attorney General Michaelson understood the unique role the Office of Attorney General could play in helping citizens who were deceived or unfairly mistreated. Under his leadership, the state passed some of the strongest consumer protection and anti-discrimination laws in the country and established the Office's first-ever dedicated Consumer Protection Unit, which was seen as a model for other states to follow," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "We built the Customer Service Center with Attorney General Michaelson's vision in mind - to make it as convenient and efficient as possible for citizens to interact with our office, be it for a background check, to meet with our diversion staff, or to file a complaint with our Consumer Protection Unit. It is only fitting to name this Customer Service Center after Attorney General Michaelson as a tribute to his leadership, vision, and commitment to improving the lives of Rhode Islanders."
The new facility will ease congestion in the Attorney General's main office, located at 150 South Main Street, Providence, where the BCI window can serve an average of 300 customers per day. The new site is located on a direct bus route, will offer ample, free parking for the public, and is in the same complex of other state agencies that interface with the public.
The building will be one of only 22 buildings in Rhode Island certified with a LEED silver rating. Energy efficient features will include a 300-panel rooftop solar photovoltaic array that will generate approximately 120,000 kilowatts per year, and is predicted to reduce utility costs by more than $16,000 annually. Other LEED silver features include low flow plumbing fixtures, energy-optimized mechanical and electrical systems, and a pledge to recycle or salvage a minimum of 75 percent of construction waste.
Expected date of completion of the Customer Service Center is Summer 2018.