2016 AG Elections

Utah Attorney General Election Update

  • Utah Democratic Attorney General nominee Jon Harper announced that he has dropped out of the race, citing health reasons.
  • According to reports, he has not yet submitted his decision to the Lieutenant Governor’s office to officially withdraw from the race.
  • Once Harper submits his decision, incumbent Republican AG Sean Reyes will be without a Democratic challenger due to the fact that the deadline to replace Harper with another Democratic candidate was August 30.

Charities

Idaho Attorney General Issues Proposed Recommendations to Charity for Allegedly Misleading Donors

  • Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden issued a series of proposed recommendations to the Young Men’s Christian Association of Twin Falls, Inc., (“YMCA – Twin Falls”) following an investigation into violations of Idaho’s charitable trust laws connected to the alleged misappropriation of $1 million.
  • According to the AG’s office, YMCA – Twin Falls allegedly failed to maintain proper record keeping practices, making it difficult to account for how donations were utilized, and used money donated for specific projects to cover operating budget deficits, among other alleged violations.
  • Under the recommendations, YMCA – Twin Falls and its board of directors must increase the organization’s competency in fiscal administration, executive oversight, and donor accountability; appoint a qualified Executive Director with appropriate training and education to manage the organization; and retain a certified public accountant.

Consumer Protection

D.C. Attorney General Sues Housekeeping Company Over Alleged Failures to Complete Background Checks and Misleading Billing Practices

  • D.C. AG Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against Handy Technologies, Inc., (“Handy”) over allegations that the company violated the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by engaging in deceptive billing and marketing practices.
  • According to AG Racine’s office, Handy allegedly claimed to complete background checks on its cleaners, but failed to identify applicants with criminal histories. Handy also allegedly advertised fees for single cleanings while enrolling consumers in automatic cleaning plans.
  • The complaint seeks restitution for consumers, civil penalties of $1,000 per violation, and attorney’s fees, among other things.

Florida Attorney General Sues Jewelry Consignment Stores Over Alleged Deceptive Business Practices

  • Florida AG Pam Bondi filed a lawsuit against Nikolas, LLC, Christopher Kaufmann, Le Salon, CK Le Salon, LLC, and related entities (collectively “Le Salon”) over alleged violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
  • According to the AG’s office, Le Salon allegedly entered into consignment contracts that promised to pay consumers the full amount quoted for their jewelry. Once the jewelry was in Le Salon’s possession, however, they allegedly failed to pay the agreed upon amount and failed to fulfill repayment plans for jewelry that was lost or stolen.
  • The complaint seeks approximately $500,000 in restitution for consumers and civil penalties.

North Carolina Attorney General Issues Subpoenas to Gas Stations and Wholesaler Over Alleged Price Gouging

  • North Carolina AG Roy Cooper issued subpoenas to four gas stations and one gas wholesaler for allegedly violating the state’s price gouging law, which prohibits excessive price increases during disasters or emergencies for critical goods and services.
  • According to the AG’s office, the law was triggered earlier this month after a pipe in Alabama that carries gas across the East Coast began to leak. Despite the law’s activation, the gas stations allegedly charged as much as $3.99 per gallon of gas.

Pharmaceuticals

New Mexico Attorney General Sues Pharmaceutical Companies for Alleged Drug Misrepresentations

  • New Mexico AG Hector Balderas filed a suit against Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (“BMS”), Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC (“Sanofi”), and related entities over allegations that the companies’ marketing practices violated the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act, the New Mexico Medicaid Fraud Act, and the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, among other laws.
  • According to the AG’s office, BMS and Sanofi allegedly advertised their antiplatelet drug Plavix as a replacement for aspirin to patients at risk of ischemic events, despite their alleged knowledge that Plavix had reduced or ineffective results on a large portion of the population
  • The complaint seeks restitution, punitive costs, and the costs of prosecution and attorneys’ fees, among other things.

West Virginia Attorney General Petitions Court to Enforce Subpoena Against Pharmaceutical Company

  • West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey petitioned the Kanawha Circuit Court to enforce a subpoena issued by his office this past August against Mylan N.V. over allegations that the company violated the West Virginia Antitrust Act with respect to its pricing and sale of EpiPen Auto-Injectors (“EpiPens”).
  • According to the petition, AG Morrisey issued the subpoena in order to investigate the price increase for EpiPens, as well as the Medicaid rebates that the company offered in order to participate in the state’s Medicaid program. The subpoena requests information related to the marketing and sales of EpiPens. Although Mylan initially agreed to cooperate with the AG’s office, AG Morrisey’s office alleges that the company failed to respond to most of the subpoena.
  • As we reported earlier in the month, Mylan also is being investigated by New York AG Eric Schneiderman over antitrust violations in regards to its EpiPen4Schools program.

State v. Federal

21 Attorneys General Sue DOL Challenging Final Overtime Rule

  • 21 AGs, led by Nevada AG Adam Paul Laxalt, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to challenge the agency’s final rule regarding overtime pay, which would double the minimum salary threshold eligible for overtime and automatically update the threshold every three years. The final rule is scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016.
  • In the complaint, the AGs assert that the final rule’s revision of the Fair Labor Standard Act’s overtime exemption is unlawful under the Constitution and that DOL exceeded its authority under the Administrative Procedures Act. They contend that the rule will require state and local governments and small businesses to increase their employment costs, which could lead to reduced hours and pay for workers.
  • The AGs seek to block implementation of the final rule, as well as attorney’s fees.