AG Elections

Nancy Rotering Announces Candidacy for Illinois Attorney General

  • Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering announced that she is entering the 2018 race for AG. Rotering is Mayor of Highland Park and previously ran against incumbent U.S. Representative Brad Schneider in the 2016 Illinois 10th Congressional District’s Democratic Primary.
  • Rotering is joined by two fellow Democrats—state Rep. Scott Drury and state Sen. Kwame Raoul—seeking the Democratic nomination. Erika Harold is the sole Republican to announce her candidacy to date.
  • Incumbent AG Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, announced last month on her campaign website that she will not seek re-election in 2018.

Charities

Michigan Attorney General Issues Cease and Desist Order Against Allegedly Deceptive Veterans Charity

  • Michigan AG Bill Schuette issued a cease and desist order against American Veterans Foundation (“AVF”) for allegedly issuing deceptive solicitations and diverting funds raised for non-charitable purposes in violation of the state’s Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act.
  • According to the cease and desist order, AVF allegedly misled consumers by claiming its charitable programs provided direct relief to veterans but in reality only spending 1% of the funds raised on charitable programs.
  • Under the terms of the cease and desist order, AVF must cease all unlawful solicitations and confirm its compliance with the order in writing to the AG within 21 days.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

CFPB Obtains Consent Order with Real Estate Settlement Services Provider for Failing to Disclose Ties to Referred Business

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) took action against real estate settlement services provider Meridian Title Corporation (“Meridian”) for allegedly violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
  • According to the CFPB, Meridian routinely selected Arsenal Insurance Corporation (“Arsenal”)—owned by three Meridian executives—as its preferred title insurance underwriter for consumers without disclosing its relationship with Arsenal to consumers, as required by law.
  • The consent order requires Meridian to pay $1.25 million to affected consumers and to implement procedures to ensure compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, including improved disclosures in connection with applicable referrals.

Consumer Protection

Texas Attorney General Reaches Settlement with Lead Generation Company Over Alleged Fraud

  • Texas AG Ken Paxton secured an assurance of voluntary compliance (“AVC”) with lead generation company LowerMyBills, Inc. (“LowerMyBills”) and its associated debt management company Credit Alliance Group (“CAG”) for allegedly violating the state’s Deceptive Trade Practice and Consumer Protection Act.
  • According to the AG’s office, LowerMyBills and CAG allegedly misled consumers that CAG would be directly involved in providing debt management services to consumers when it was not, incorrectly stated that its providers were legally able to provide debt management services, and failed to disclose to consumers that their information was being sold to debt management service providers. CAG also allegedly diverted customer debt payments to its own operating account.
  • Under the terms of the AVC, LowerMyBills and CAG must pay $2,000,000 in monetary relief to affected consumers, $200,000 in attorneys’ fees and investigation costs, and agree to comply with state consumer protection laws.

Environment

9 AGs Challenge Legality of EPA and US Army Corp of Engineers Proposed Repeal of Clean Water Rule

  • 9 Democratic AGs, led by New York AG Eric Schneiderman, submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“ACOE”) charging that the repeal of the federal Clean Water Rule (“the Rule”) is “not in accordance with law.”
  • In their comments, the AGs argue that the EPA and ACOE’s proposal to repeal the Rule failed to provide a meaningful opportunity for public comment on the substance of the Rule’s repeal, failed to consider well-known ambiguities that resulted from previous, outdated regulations, and disregarded scientific findings supporting the Rule.

Pharmaceuticals

Washington Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturer

  • Washington AG Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against prescription opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma L.P. (“Purdue”) for alleged violations of state common law, the state Consumer Protection Act, and for posing a public nuisance by misrepresenting the risks and benefits of opioids.
  • According to the lawsuit, Purdue allegedly engaged in a deceptive marketing campaign that overstated the safety of opioid use, understated addiction risks, misrepresented to prescribers the risk of overdoses, and violated a previous 2007 court order prohibiting Purdue from making misleading statements about its opioid OxyContin.
  • The lawsuit seeks a declaration that Purdue engaged in unfair or deceptive business practices, an injunction from further violations of the state Consumer Protection Act, civil penalties, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees and investigation costs.
  • By filing this lawsuit, AG Ferguson has ended his participation in a previously reported ongoing multistate coalition investigating opioid manufacturers nationwide.

State AGs in the News

Attorney General Marty Jackley Announces Bid for South Dakota Governor

  • South Dakota AG Marty Jackley has officially declared his candidacy to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for the Governor of South Dakota in 2018. AG Jackley, a term-limited incumbent, was appointed as AG in 2009 due to a vacancy and has since been elected to two consecutive terms.
  • AG Jackley has previously served as President of the National Association of Attorneys General. Prior to being elected AG, he served as U.S. Attorney for South Dakota from 2006 to 2009.
  • AG Jackley joins U.S. Representative Kristi Noem in competing for the Republican nomination for Governor.

39 AGs Endorse “Road to Recovery Act,” Urge Congressional Leaders to Increase Access to Drug Addiction Treatment

  • A bipartisan coalition of 39 AGs, organized by the National Association of Attorneys General and co-led by Ohio AG Mike DeWine and Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to support the “Road to Recovery Act,” a federal bill aimed to address the lack of treatment for those suffering from drug addiction.
  • According to the letter, the “Road to Recovery Act” will remove restrictions on Medicaid funding for in-patient drug treatment at addiction treatment facilities, reforming an outdated 50-year-old provision in the Medicaid program that was intended to prevent inhumane treatment of patients at large residential mental health facilities.