|In January 2007, Catherine Cortez Masto began serving her first term as Nevada’s Attorney General after winning more votes than any other statewide candidate. Known for her integrity and leadership, General Masto has committed her time in office to protecting and advocating on behalf of the people and communities in Nevada.
As the chief law enforcement officer of the State, she has worked to keep our communities safer. In February of 2007 she advocated for the creation of a statewide Methamphetamine Working Group to combat the use and distribution of methamphetamines in Nevada. Working closely with law enforcement, treatment providers and community advocates and leaders, General Masto fought for a new state law that restricts the sale of materials used to manufacture meth. The new law also added new criminal penalties for engaging in certain activities related to the manufacture of meth. She sponsored a bill to create a permanent Working Group to fight all substance abuse including prescription and synthetic drugs. General Masto helped secure funding for the Drug Engaged Children Alliance. She is currently the chair of the Substance Abuse Working Group.
Staying true to her commitment to protecting seniors, General Masto created a senior protection unit in her office ensuring for the first time that her investigators and prosecutors would have the necessary tools to pursue those who abuse, neglect or exploit seniors in our communities. She has continued her commitment to seniors by hosting a statewide conference for senior advocates, providers and law enforcement to provide them with the tools and best practices for preventing and addressing elder abuse. She sponsored a bill to include additional civil penalties for crimes against the elderly including assault, battery, larceny, and mortgage fraud.
A lifelong advocate for women and children, General Masto has worked on behalf of Nevada's families to strengthen our state laws to prevent sex trafficking, violence against women and to protect kids from sexual predators. In 2013 she introduced and passed Assembly Bill 67, a sex trafficking bill that establishes the crime of sex trafficking of children and adults, allows victims to receive assistance and gives them the right to sue their traffickers. General Masto is the chair of the Nevada Sexual Exploitation of Minors Working Group. She also serves as a member of the National Association of Attorneys General Human Trafficking Committee and a liaison to the American Bar Association’s Human Trafficking Task Force to make sure the issue is addressed consistently both nationally and locally. As a renowned speaker, General Masto traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to update the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child on efforts to combat sex trafficking and to prevent the exploitation of children in Nevada. General Masto hosted a summit that brought together legislators, law enforcement, judges, and service providers to address the issue of sex trafficking. She also hosted Truckers Forum on Human Trafficking in collaboration with the Nevada Trucking Association.
In 2008 she created an advisory committee on victims of crime to address funding, resource and enforcement issues. The advisory committee successfully fought for state laws to authorize victims of sexual assault to seek a protective order, and to provide for penalties for the crime of strangulation involving domestic violence. General Masto introduced a bill to organize a multi-disciplinary team to review the deaths of domestic violence victims, called the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Statewide Team, which she chairs.
General Masto’s dedication to children in our communities has resulted in new laws strengthening the registration and notification requirements of convicted sex offenders and offenders against children; prohibiting an individual from using the internet to access child pornography; preventing a person from luring someone believed to be a child; and strengthening child custody laws.
As Chair of the Technological Crime Advisory Board, General Masto has worked to implement important privacy laws to protect users and consumers on the internet; and to institutionalize the expertise necessary to address transnational crime.
While in office, General Masto has stressed the importance of educational outreach. She conducts presentations to elementary, middle schools, and high schools talking with students about cyber safety and dangers of sexting, cyberbullying, teen dating violence and online predators. When travelling through some of the State's smaller communities on her rural road trips, General Masto emphasizes the importance of consumer protection.
In 2008 she created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force in her office to investigate and prosecute fraudulent foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams. General Masto has led the fight in pursuing foreclosure fraud by being the first attorney general in the nation to take criminal action against violators for robo-signing and to file a civil lawsuit against a major bank for its servicing practices. On behalf of Nevada homeowners, she secured an estimated $1.8 billion from the nation’s banks as part of the recent National Mortgage Settlement. In 2013 she and a consortium of HUD agencies led by the Financial Guidance Center, launched “Home Again: Nevada Homeowner Relief Program,” which was established after the $25 billion national mortgage settlement announced in 2012. Home Again is a hotline that provides a single “one-stop”, free resource where homeowners or borrowers in Nevada can determine what state or federal assistance may be available to them.
She serves as the 2012-2013 chair of the Conference of Western Attorneys General and a 2012-2013 executive committee member of the National Association of Attorneys General. General Masto was 2007-2009 co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.
The National Notary Association, the leader in best practices, training, and advocacy for the nation’s community of 4.4 million Notaries, has named General Masto as its 2012 March Fong Eu Achievement Award recipient for her dedication to protecting homeowners and consumers nationwide, and for acting as a model of conduct in the midst of the foreclosure crisis.
Las Vegas Weekly Reader’s Choice named General Masto as the 2012 Best Public Official.
Prior to her service at the Attorney General's Office, she worked as an Assistant County Manager for Clark County, Nevada. She also served as a federal criminal prosecutor for the United States Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. and was Chief of Staff to Governor Bob Miller.
General Masto, a native Nevadan, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Nevada Reno in 1986 with a major in Finance. She graduated Cum Laude from Gonzaga University School of Law, in Spokane, Washington in 1990.