Also receives Kelley-Wyman award, AG association’s highest honor
CHICAGO – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna now leads the organization that combines the brain and fire-power of the states’ chief legal officers. McKenna became the president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) on Wednesday night, and simultaneously received the organization’s highest award.
“Rob McKenna represents an Attorney General’s sense of justice, fairness, and strength, and through his adherence to these strong ideals, he will continue to provide sensible guidance as President of NAAG,” Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller wrote in a letter to colleagues.
McKenna’s new responsibilities at NAAG come as state attorneys general deal with a powerful industry: the nation’s largest banks. Many of the attorneys general believe faulty foreclosure practices illegally impacted a significant number of Americans. McKenna says his new role at NAAG will help him focus and expand his work to correct such practices.
“Perhaps the worst fallout from the Great Recession is that so many families lost their homes — their nest eggs,” McKenna said. “Faulty mortgage lending practices were at the epicenter of the economic earthquake and years later, flawed foreclosure procedures delivered yet another blow. State attorneys general have a ground-level perspective on the mortgage crisis and what to do about it.”
State attorneys general are in negotiations with the biggest lenders over how to correct foreclosure practices. McKenna’s past work with NAAG on mortgage lending includes a $325 million nationwide settlement with Ameriquest, a landmark agreement in which Bank of America agreed to modify loans for hundreds of thousands of Countrywide borrowers and a settlement with Wells Fargo that provides loan modifications for consumers in seven states.
In their letter to fellow attorneys general, Wasden and Miller recommended McKenna for the Kelley-Wyman Award, the highest honor bestowed by NAAG, which McKenna also received on Wednesday. They recognized his contributions on several NAAG committees, including the State and Federal Task Force on Mortgage Enforcement, which he co-chairs, his work on their Environment and Energy Committee, Intellectual Property Committee and the Prescription Drug Abuse Working Group, among other contributions.
NAAG provides an opportunity for attorneys general to pool talents and resources, helping to bring attention to issues that cross state – and sometimes international – borders. As his presidential initiative, McKenna today announced a national initiative to combat human trafficking.
Janelle Guthrie, APR, Communications Director, 360-586-0725