Rich Finneran, an attorney with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and a former federal prosecutor, announced Oct. 22 that he plans to seek the 2020 Democratic nomination for Missouri Attorney General.
“As a former prosecutor, I know how important it is that politics never get in the way of enforcing the law fairly and equally. And that’s especially true when it comes to the office of Missouri Attorney General,” Finneran said in a statement. “I believe that the Attorney General’s Office should serve the people, not the politicians in Jefferson City.”
Finneran served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri from 2010 to 2017. He handled a number of significant cases there, including a fraud scheme that drained millions of dollars of the assets intended to cover consumers’ prepaid funeral services. Six people landed in federal prison for their roles in the fraud. Missouri Lawyers Weekly honored Finneran as a Legal Champion in 2014 for his role in that case.
He also prosecuted Martin Sigillito, a St. Louis-area attorney convicted in 2012 of orchestrating a massive real estate scheme that sought investors, supposedly for land development deals in Britain.
Finneran joined Bryan Cave’s white-collar defense and investigations group in 2018. He said he has taken an of-counsel role with the firm while he runs for office.
Finneran is the second entrant into the Democratic race. Elad Gross, an attorney in St. Louis, announced his intention to run for the office last year. Finneran said he believes his biography and prosecutorial experience makes him a better challenger to Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican appointed to the position after Josh Hawley was elected to the U.S. Senate. Schmitt, formerly the state’s treasurer and a state senator, is currently unopposed.
Gross, a former assistant attorney general, said he knows Finneran from Washington University, where Gross got his law degree in 2014. Finneran serves as an adjunct professor at the School of Law and earned his law degree there in 2008.
“We’re still going to be meeting people, making sure out government works for us,” Gross said.