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AGO News Releases for 2007
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna and economist Keith Leffler will discuss results from the first phase of the state’s ongoing investigation into gas prices and gather public comments during three evening public forums this winter.

OLYMPIA—Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna has selected attorney Melanie de Leon to head the state Executive Ethics Board, replacing Susan Harris, who is retiring at the end of the year.

SEATTLE –Attorney General’s Office investigator Marvin Skeen has been promoted to Chief Criminal Investigator. Skeen’s first day in his new role was Dec. 1.

OLYMPIA – A New Jersey company accused of making illegal misrepresentations while selling motorized wheelchairs to Washington consumers agreed to reform its sales practices, refrain from future violations and provide consumers with a 14-day cancellation period for any motorized wheelchair under a settlement with the Attorney General’s Office.
Olympia - The Attorney General’s Office announced today the sentencing of care givers in Spokane and Lincoln counties. The care givers pled guilty to charges of Medicaid fraud in separate and unrelated cases.
OLYMPIA – December will be a bit more rewarding for 8,750 Washington residents. They’ll receive checks this month totaling nearly $9.9 million as part of a national settlement with former subprime lending giant Ameriquest.
Seattle - Attorney General Rob McKenna joined King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg, David Weston from the DSHS Mental Health Division and Chief Vicky Stormo from the University of Washington’s police department in releasing a report outlining necessary improvements to restrict access to firearms by persons with mental health commitments.
SEATTLE – Following on the heels of Washington and other states that have approved credit freeze laws, the nation’s three leading credit bureaus recently announced they will provide all Americans with the opportunity to freeze unwanted access to their credit history. But before you rush to sign up, the Attorney General’s Office says there are some things you should know.
SEATTLE – The Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement today with an Everett man accused of violating the state’s charity laws by improperly soliciting donations. Darin Anthony Dewitt  agreed to refund consumers who made donations to Blind Children Services of Puget Sound, which he owned.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today cautioned Washington residents to beware of possible flood-related scams including fraudulent home repair offers and charity appeals.
OLYMPIA… Washington will join several other states in filing suit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for violating a national ban on the use of cartoons in tobacco advertising, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today.
OLYMPIA— A care giver in Lincoln County pled guilty Tuesday to three counts of First Degree Theft and five counts of Health Care False Claim (as Medicaid False Statement).
Park City, Utah – Attorney General Rob McKenna along with thirty-two other Attorneys General, their staff, and members of law enforcement are in Utah today as part of the National Association of Attorneys General’s (NAAG) annual winter meeting. Attendees will be hearing from new U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey.

OAK HARBOR – An Oak Harbor couple who took thousands of dollars from aspiring authors is prohibited from marketing ghostwriting and publishing services unless they pay back customers, the Attorney General’s Office announced today.

OLYMPIA--At a hearing in Seattle today, Attorney General Rob McKenna urged Federal Communications Commissioners to take adequate time to fully study the impacts of its proposed rules on media consolidation before adopting them.

The Washington State Supreme Court today upheld King County Superior Judge Mary Roberts’ June 13 ruling that Initiative 747 is unconstitutional.   Attorney General Rob McKenna, whose office defends initiatives and other state laws when challenged, said he was concerned by the ruling because of its chilling effect on the people’s right to initiative.

SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office announced today that it filed a petition to enforce a court order concerning Internet Advancement, a Redmond-based company that sells search-engine optimization services for thousands of dollars to small businesses.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with a Kirkland-based company that sells leads to real estate agents on a subscription basis. HouseValues, Inc., is accused of misrepresenting the quality of information it provides and misrepresenting subscribers’ cancellation rights.
Olympia – A Cowlitz County jury returned a guilty verdict today in the Frederick Russell case. Russell was convicted on three counts of vehicular homicide and three of vehicular assault.
SEATTLE – The Public Counsel Section of the Attorney General’s Office announced today that is has joined in an all-party settlement of Avista Corp’s pending utility rate case. Avista has proposed to increase its revenues by raising the amount it charges customers for electricity and natural gas.

OLYMPIA – The Washington Attorney General’s Office announced settlements today with a local auto dealer and an out-of-state advertising firm accused of using deceptive promotions to sell cars. The settlements filed today in Thurston County Superior Court resolve a civil lawsuit filed against Bruce Titus Automotive Group, which operates dealerships in Pierce and Thurston counties, and Level 10 Marketing, Inc., based in Slidell, La. The defendants did not admit any wrongdoing but agreed to pay civil penalties and comply with injunctive provisions concerning their marketing practices.

SEATTLE – Simon ffitch, chief of Public Counsel Section within the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, today issued a statement concerning Puget Sound Energy’s announcement of a merger with a consortium of North American investors. The merger requires approval by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission.
BELLEVUE – El Presidente de la Cámara de Comercio Hispana, Mike Sotelo, homenajeó al Procurador Rob McKenna con el Premio Presidencial por su “dedicación y esfuerzos en beneficio de la comunidad latina” durante la Cena de Gala Anual de la Cámara, el pasado jueves.
Seattle – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced an agreement with Kroger Co., the nation’s largest grocery chain. Under the agreement, Kroger will implement comprehensive youth prevention practices to reduce the sale of tobacco products to minors at its 128 Washington locations operating under the QFC and Fred Meyer banners.
BELLEVUE – Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Mike Sotelo honored Attorney General Rob McKenna with the President’s Award for his “dedication and efforts on behalf of the Latino community” at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner on Thursday.
SEATTLE –  Attorney General Rob McKenna today urged homeowners to check out contractors they hire to help repair their storm-damaged homes and remove fallen trees caused by yesterday’s 40-50 mph winds.
SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit today accusing a former Bremerton couple who sold magazine subscriptions on eBay of violating consumer protection laws. Attorney General Rob McKenna said more than 30,000 consumers nationwide purchased subscriptions but never received their magazines.
SEATTLE – The Public Counsel Section of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office today recommended the state Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) reject a request by the Avista Corp. to increase revenues by over $55 million for its electric and natural gas customers.

OLYMPIA – More than 5,000 Washington residents become victims of identity theft each year according to reports from the Federal Trade Commission. That ranks Washington in the top 10 states for per capita victim reports.  Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Oak Harbor on Thursday, Oct. 18, to help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.

Olympia – Attorney General Rob McKenna will recognize the courage of domestic violence survivors as special guest speaker at the 7th Annual Domestic Violence Survivor’s Recognition Day at 4 p.m. today at the Harrison Street Gallery at the Seattle Center.

SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with one of three California-based Internet affiliate advertisers accused of violating the state’s consumer protection and spyware laws. HoanVinh V. Nguyenphuoc, owner of FixWinReg, sent anonymous “Net Send” messages to consumers’ computers that simulated security warnings but were actually ads for registry-cleaner software, according to documents filed today in King County Superior Court.
OLYMPIA…The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA) awarded Attorney General Rob McKenna the Freedom’s Light award during its annual convention Friday in Yakima. The award recognizes those who have supported the freedom of the First Amendment and work hard to protect that right. McKenna received the award along with Rep. Lynn Kessler.
OLYMPIACitizens for Safe Yakima Communities (CSC) will now have an extra $25,000 to fight the battle against methamphetamine in the Yakima area, thanks to a grant from the Office of Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Olympia – Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit several schools in Eastern Washington next week as part of the on-going schedule of school visits in his “Operation:  Allied Against Meth” campaign.

Seattle - Attorney General Rob McKenna and Comcast Senior Vice President Mitch Bowling met today to kick off Internet Safety Month and to discuss efforts to increase parental awareness of the tools available to keep their children safe on the Internet. McKenna has recorded public service announcements with McGruff the Crime Dog about Internet safety for kids that will run on Comcast in Washington over the next couple of months.

Thanking him for his tireless work to secure funds to upgrade an irreplaceable law enforcement database housed within the Attorney General's Office (AGO), Attorney General Rob McKenna today presented state Representative Mark Ericks with a special award at the AGO's Annual Attorney Conference in downtown Seattle.

OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna will award a grant to the Citizens for Safe Yakima Communities (CSC) for consumer education about methamphetamine. Meth is the primary drug threat to Washington. CSC’s Meth Reduction Action Team will receive a $25,000 grant to educate youth, parents and the public about the dangers of meth in the community.

Seattle - Attorney General Rob McKenna and Comcast Senior Vice President Mitch Bowling will hold a media availability on Thursday, Oct. 4 focusing on increasing parental awareness of the tools available to keep their children safe on the Internet. Attorney General McKenna will also unveil PSA spots that will be aired on Comcast beginning this month, which is Internet Safety Month and National Crime Prevention Month.

SEATTLE - Attorney General Rob McKenna is pleased to announce that Simon ffitch, division chief of the Attorney General's Public Counsel office, has been appointed to serve as a consumer representative on the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service. ffitch was nominated for the position by the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) and the appointment was confirmed by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin on Friday, Sept. 28.

Seattle - Attorney General Rob McKenna and Comcast Senior Vice President Mitch Bowling will hold a media availability on Thursday, Oct. 4 focusing on increasing parental awareness of the tools available to keep their children safe on the Internet. Attorney General McKenna will also unveil PSA spots that will be aired on Comcast beginning this month, which is Internet Safety Month and National Crime Prevention Month.

Attorney General Rob McKenna today argued on behalf of Washington citizens before the US Supreme Court, defending Initiative 872, the “Top-Two Primary” initiative passed by about 60 percent of voters in 2004.
SEATTLE – A reminder for everyone who signed up for the national Do Not Call Registry back in 2003 when it was created: It’s time to renew your spot on the list if you want to continue to stay off of telemarketers’ phone lists. Numbers are flushed after five years. About half of the 148 million numbers on the nationwide registry are due to fall off the list starting in June.
SPOKANE – Avista customers in Eastern Washington will be able to tell state regulators on Tuesday Oct. 2 what they think about the company’s proposal to increase electric and natural-gas rates. The Attorney General’s Public Counsel Section, which represents the public in utility rate cases, encourages customers to attend and express their views. Public Counsel will also attend the hearing.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement that addresses concerns surrounding the merger of the nation’s two largest school bus contractors. Eleven states reached an agreement with Laidlaw International, Inc., and FirstGroup plc to help ensure that school districts can still receive competitive bids for student transportation.
OLYMPIA–The Attorney General’s Office today announced a $140,000 settlement in a case involving the 2001 election of pro-third-runway candidates for the Des Moines City Council.
Olympia – More than 5,000 Washington residents become victims of identity theft each year according to reports from the Federal Trade Commission. That ranks Washington in the top 10 states for per capita victim reports.  Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Olympia on Thursday, Oct. 4, to help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.

OLYMPIA—On Oct. 1, Attorney General Rob McKenna will argue on behalf of Washington's people before the US Supreme Court, defending Initiative 872, the “Top-Two Primary” initiative passed by about 60 percent of voters in 2004.

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna applauded decisions by TransUnion and Equifax to offer consumers the ability to freeze access to their credit reports. McKenna said it’s important for consumers to understand how TransUnion’s credit freeze rules differ from Washington laws and to not confuse the credit freeze option – which is free for victims and $10 for everyone else – and a costlier product offered by TransUnion that includes credit monitoring.

Olympia – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that his office will re-distribute the office’s Missing Persons Toolkit during the Washington Community Safety Summit this week. The summit, being held Sept. 25-27 at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, focuses on emerging trends in prevention and enforcement strategies.

OLYMPIA…The Washington Coalition for Open Government awarded Attorney General Rob McKenna with the Key Award during its annual awards breakfast today at the Washington Athletic Club.
Olympia – Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police, will share his first-hand experiences during  the Virginia Tech shootings as one of the headline speakers at the Washington Community Safety Summit, Sept. 25-27, at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, WA.
Secretary of State Sam Reed, Attorney General Rob McKenna, and former Washington State Grange Master Terry Hunt will hold a media availability on Monday, Sept. 24, to discuss their defense of Washington’s Top Two Primary before the United States Supreme Court on Monday, Oct. 1.

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced the 2006 Employee Recognition Awards during a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Olympia on Monday, September 16.

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna will be in Tacoma Tuesday September 25, as part of the statewide tour on identity theft. McKenna will speak to local businesses discussing ways to improve data security in the workplace and the security of customer information.  The campaign is a partnership of the Attorney General’s Office, Federal Trade Commission and AARP.
OLYMPIA – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that the state's Medicaid program will be reimbursed nearly $2.7 million as part of a settlement with drug manufacturers Purdue Pharma and Purdue Frederick Company. The settlement stems from allegations the company improperly marketed the pain medication OxyContin to health providers.
Olympia – Attorney General Rob McKenna is urging law enforcement, court officials, corrections officials, education professionals, community health and safety representatives, tribal leaders and others to participate in the 3rd Annual Washington Community Safety Summit, Sept. 25-27 at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington.
OLYMPIA…The Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee or “Sunshine Committee” will hold their second meeting on Tuesday, September 18. The meeting will be in the Utilities and Transportation Commission’s hearing room located at 1300 Evergreen Park Drive SW in Olympia from 9am to Noon.
The Washington Supreme Court today upheld the state’s definition of a “political committee,” ruling that the Seattle-based Voters Education Committee (VEC) was in fact required to register with the Public Disclosure Commission and to disclose the source of its $1.5 million advertising campaign during the 2004 primary election race for attorney general.

Olympia…Governor Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna, in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission , will participate in this week’s  national campaign, “We Don’t Serve Teens.”

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today launched a campaign aimed at preventing drunk driving and underage drinking with new 30-second radio public service announcements set to air on stations throughout the state. The spots are timed to coincide with the back-to-school season and will air more than 1,600 times between now and October.

OLYMPIA…The Office of the Attorney General announced today that the Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee’s Criteria Subcommittee has set the agenda for their first meeting. The meeting will be held Wednesday, September 12 from 9am to Noon at the Administrative Office of the Courts located at 18000 Pacific Highway South, Suite 1106, SeaTac, Washington.

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Supreme Court ruled today in favor of the state of Washington in Futurewise and SEIU 775 v. Sam Reed.
Attorney General Rob McKenna today joined other attorneys general in releasing a 14-page report identifying recommendations for changes in laws and educational policies to give students better protection from violence in their schools and on college campuses.

“Jennifer was a great leader both as chair of the Washington State Republican Party and as a member of Congress for 12 years. She was also a very important personal friend and mentor to me and many others. Most importantly, Jennifer was a wonderful mother and grandmother to her family. My thoughts and prayers are with her family as are my wife, Marilyn’s. Our nation and our state have lost a great leader and a wonderful person. We will deeply miss her.”

Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Vancouver on Thursday, Sept. 6, to help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.
SEATTLE – If your Labor Day weekend plans include catching up the household chores, take note: The Attorney General’s Office has scheduled free community shredding events this September and October to help you safely dispose of those old bank statements, cancelled checks and other sensitive papers that have piled up in your home office or attic.
Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Shoreline on Tuesday, Sept. 4, to help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a $16.75 million multistate settlement with Guidant Corporation that extends a replacement program for certain heart defibrillators built prior to November 2002.
TACOMA – Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Tacoma on Thursday, Aug. 30, to help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.

A troubling trend is affecting teens in Washington and around the country -- a trend that most parents do not even know about. More and more young people are abusing prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicines in surprising numbers, not realizing that seeking that next "high" could bring them and their families to a new low.

SPOKANE – Consumers who purchased recently recalled Westlake, Compass or YKS tires are eligible for free replacements.

SEATTLE – The Washington Attorney General’s Office filed suit today against an out-of-state advertising firm accused of using deceptive promotions to market new and used cars for Washington dealers. Automotive Consultant Group, based in Metairie, La., is accused of misrepresenting the nature of sales events, the financing available and the value of vehicles as well as using “simulated checks” and contest promotions that could mislead consumers.

OLYMPIA…The Office of the Attorney General announced today that the agenda has been set for the first meeting of the Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee or “Sunshine Committee.”  The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Aug. 28 in House Hearing Room C in the John L. O’Brien on the Capitol Campus.  Campus Map
SEATTLE – Some Washington consumers who donated to Veterans of Western Washington or Blind Children Services of Puget Sound will receive refunds under two court orders, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today.
Olympia - Attorney General Rob McKenna joined 29 other attorneys general nationwide today in urging the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to stop alcohol manufacturers from making misleading health-related statements when advertising alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine and other stimulants.
Olympia - In conjunction with National Safety Month, organizations from across the state will come together in Olympia for the annual Public Employees Safety Awareness and Preparedness Fair on September 11.
Attorney General Rob McKenna today released the first phase of Washington’s 2007 gas prices investigation.  McKenna announced in April 2007 he was teaming up with Gov. Chris Gregoire and the state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development  to conduct  the investigation based on strong public and private concern about escalating gas prices and the need for new research to help explain factors that influence Washington’s gas prices.
SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced an agreement with TruGreen, L.P. of Memphis, Tenn., that provides for refunds of over $83,000 to Washington consumers whose accounts TruGreen improperly debited, and for payment of over $50,000 in costs and attorney fees incurred by the state.
TACOMA - Tacoma Division Chief Gretchen Leanderson announced yesterday that Lynette Weatherby-Teague has been chosen as the new LNI Section Chief for Tacoma.

OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that the Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee or “Sunshine Committee” will hold their first meeting on Tuesday, August 28. The meeting will be in the House Legislative Building in Hearing Room C from 9am to Noon. 

OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that the Eminent Domain Task Force will hold its first meeting Tuesday, August 14.  The meeting will be in the Chief Sealth room at the Attorney General’s Seattle offices from 9am to Noon.
OLYMPIA—The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit today filed separate charges in King County against two King County women accused of falsely billing for services.
SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today urged consumers to check the tires on their SUV, pickup or van in case they are among those being recalled. Attorneys General in 24 states issued consumer alerts and have formed a working group to look into concerns that an estimated 270,000 tires brought into the U.S. from China may be potentially unsafe.
OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna will speak at the Discovery Institute’s lecture series for interns and young professionals on Tuesday, August 7.  The Slade Gorton Lecture Series is named for the former U.S. Senator and introduces young people to the nature and ideals of public service. Attorney General McKenna will speak about law and public policy.
SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office today announced a settlement with Titleist Meats, LLC., concerning the company’s refund and cancellation policies. Titleist Meats has an office in Spokane and sells meat products door to door in Washington.
OLYMPIA—The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit today filed 14 felony counts against a Thurston County woman accused of falsely billing for services.
SEATTLE –Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that Washington consumers who continued to receive bills for America Online (AOL) services after cancelling are eligible for refunds as part of a $3 million nationwide settlement with the Internet service provider.
Olympia… Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna’s statement on the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision today in Madison v. State. This was the first case argued by Attorney General McKenna in front of the Washington State Supreme Court. Attorney General McKenna was assisted by Deputy Solicitor General Jeff Even.
OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna is proud to announce the Conference of Western Attorneys General has selected Deputy Attorney General Shirley Battan to receive the Nelson Kempsky Award for outstanding leadership and management.

The Washington State Department of Revenue has received reports that taxpayers have received automated phone messages from a party that identifies itself as the Department of Revenue. The phone message directs businesses to call a 1-800 number and have their tax numbers ready. When the call is made, a recording says the number has changed and directs the caller to call an international number beginning with the digits 101 for which charges apply.

LAKEWOOD – Attorney General Rob McKenna warned Washington residents that con artists are becoming increasingly skilled at customizing their pitches. Residents of Lakewood, Washington, have been targeted twice in recent weeks for identity theft and financial fraud scams. The cases appear to be unrelated, but show how far criminals will go in order to convince someone to send money or provide personal information.
OLYMPIA - New laws requested by Attorney General Rob McKenna dealing with eminent domain notice, increase domestic violence penalties, establish an anti-gang workgroup, protect seniors and establish a Sunshine Committee for public records will go into effect on Sunday.
SEATTLE – The owners of several Bellevue businesses that sent official-looking postcards to homeowners urging them to have their hot-water tanks or electrical panels inspected agreed to issue refunds to consumers as part of a settlement, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today.
OLYMPIA – King County Superior Court today ruled on summary judgment in favor of the state of Washington in Futurewise and SEIU 775 v. Sam Reed.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna and Scott Jarvis, Director of the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), announced today that more than 12,000 Washington residents are eligible for an estimated $9.1 million in restitution from Ameriquest Mortgage Company and its related companies. The money comes from last year’s $325 million national settlement, in which states alleged widespread fraud by Ameriquest as part of a high-pressure scheme to sell mortgages that trapped consumers into debt and put them at risk of losing their homes.
TACOMA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned businesses to beware of traveling salesmen who fraudulently claim to be federal government representatives and use coercive tactics to sell labor law posters. Cons were recently reported in the Tacoma area.
OLYMPIA – Thousands of Washington apartment homes and hotels may be especially vulnerable to fire. The Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office says up to 500,000 fire sprinkler heads in Washington may be defective – and officials don’t know where they are located.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned Washington homeowners and businesses to beware of cons claiming to repair your driveway. Scammers have been reported in communities across Washington, most recently in the Vancouver and Tacoma areas.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna will headline a 15-city statewide tour on identity theft this summer and fall to educate business owners and consumers on how to keep their personal data safe.  Guard it! Washington is a partnership of the Attorney General’s Office, Federal Trade Commission and AARP.
ATLANTA… This week at the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) summer meeting in Atlanta, Attorney General Rob McKenna received updates on the multi-state effort to rid social networking sites like MySpace.com of sexual predators, led negotiations over payments due to the states under the national tobacco master settlement and accepted a NAAG “Best Brief” award for the office’s reply brief in the Washington v. WEA case.

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that thousands of Washington consumers are eligible for refunds under a settlement with the operators of www.privasafe.com and www.surfsafeinternetservices.com that could ultimately cost the defendants $1 million.

SEATTLE – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna’s office today ventured into the blogosphere. The Attorney General’s Office launched “All Consuming,” a blog dedicated to consumer protection issues that has a less formal tone than some people might associate with a government agency or law office.
TACOMA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that Gretchen Leanderson has been promoted to division chief of the Tacoma Division effective June 18.

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with Coranda Living Trust Services and its owner, Stephen Cuccia, Jr., in which the former Sumner resident agreed to provide refunds to Washington residents who purchased estate planning products. The agreement resolves allegations that Cuccia made misleading statements in order to sell living trusts and insurance annuities to at least 70 seniors.

SEATTLE—Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna won his first case before the United States Supreme Court today, persuading the Court to unanimously uphold a state initiative requiring unions to obtain prior permission from non-members before using their representation fees for political purposes.
OLYMPIA… Attorney General Rob McKenna today hailed the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow individuals and corporations who voluntarily clean up hazardous waste sites to recover costs from other liable parties as a victory for the state and the environment.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a multistate settlement with ChoicePoint that resolves allegations the company failed to adequately maintain the privacy and security of consumers’ personally identifiable information. The settlement with attorneys general of 43 states and the District of Columbia stems from a 2005 data breach that compromised personal financial records of more than 163,000 consumers, including an estimated 3,000 Washington residents.
OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna is proud to announce that Senior Assistant Attorney General Michael Shinn has been selected for the 2007 Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management. The award gives special recognition to managers who have demonstrated excellence in carrying out their responsibilities.
Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that he has promoted Deputy Solicitor General Tim Ford to assistant attorney general for government accountability effective June 18. Ford will serve as the Attorney General’s open government ombudsman and will promote government accountability by encouraging access to public records and proceedings.
King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng passed away at 9:11 p.m. last night at the Harborview Medical Center from cardiac arrest.  Here is a statement from Attorney General Rob McKenna on his passing.

A group of telemarketers have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that their “debt elimination program” violated federal and state laws by falsely promising consumers substantially reduced interest rates and thousands of dollars in savings. Under the proposed settlement, two business owners are permanently barred from engaging in any debt negotiation or debt elimination business. According to a complaint filed by the FTC and the Washington State Attorney General, the defendants made unsolicited phone calls to consumers nationwide and marketed the program on Internet Web sites, including www.debt2wealth.com and www.acceleratedfinancialinc.com.

OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today he joined a coalition of state Attorneys General in a coordinated effort to examine legal issues related to school violence and safety. Responding to recent violence on college campuses and public schools, Attorney General Rob McKenna is working with his colleagues on the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Task Force on School Safety to identify legal and policy changes to help ensure safe schools.

OLYMPIA – A listserv account used by the Washington Attorney General’s Office to send news items was hijacked as part of a “phishing” scam. State agencies have resolved the problem to ensure further unauthorized e-mails are not sent.
OLYMPIA – Washington residents have a new way to protect themselves from identity thieves. Attorney General Rob McKenna said today’s signing of a preventative credit security freeze law,  which he pursued during the past two legislative sessions, is crucial in lowering the risk of unauthorized credit or bank accounts being opened. The law also helps shield existing victims from additional harm to their credit reports.
OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna is proud to announce the Washington Coalition for Open Government has awarded its Key Award to Greg Overstreet, special assistant attorney general for government accountability for the Attorney General’s Office.
Olympia – Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Stadium High School in Tacoma on Thursday, and Bremerton High School on Friday as part of the on-going schedule of school visits in his “Operation:  Allied Against Meth” campaign.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a $19.5 million multi-state settlement with Purdue Pharma. Washington will receive $719,500 from the agreement, which resolves allegations the company aggressively marketed its painkiller OxyContin to doctors while downplaying the risk of addiction.

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today made the following statement on the state’s oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of Initiative 747, now before the Washington Supreme Court. “The judges asked very good questions and we’re encouraged that they will uphold the will of Washington voters who approved property tax relief through Initiative 747,” McKenna said. “We must preserve the right of the people to use the power of initiative in establishing law without being unfairly hampered by inappropriate, hyper- technical arguments.”

SEATTLE – You may be owed money if you paid for a video subscription service from Movieland.com, bought Spyware Cleaner software or a Sony BMG music CD, or were billed for a shopping service or travel club you didn’t want. The Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division says thousands of Washington consumers are potentially eligible for refunds for products and services as a result of government settlements. But with deadlines rapidly approaching, those consumers need to submit their claims soon in order to receive payment.
Attorney General Rob McKenna, Governor’s Chief of Staff Tom Fitzsimmons and representatives from the Washington State Department of General Administration and Sunset Air Incorporated will celebrate the designation of the AGO’s Tumwater Building as the first privately owned leased state facility to earn LEED Silver Certification on Thursday, May 3.
Attorney General Rob McKenna will keynote this year’s Washington State Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Ceremony on Friday, honoring four fallen officers and two who were seriously injured in the line of duty.
STATEWIDE – Early estimates show that about 6,000 Washington residents turned out today for the first statewide LEGIT Shred-a-thon, carrying bags and boxes of papers containing personal information to be shredded. Organizers deemed the identity theft prevention campaign, which included simultaneous shred events at 29 locations, a huge success.

STATEWIDE – Washington residents and news media can meet with officials from the state Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Attorneys Office, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and local police and sheriffs departments on April 28 when they blanket the state to help educate the public about reducing their risk of becoming identity theft victims. Experts will be present at 29 locations as part of a statewide shred-a-thon organized by Washington’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft, better known as LEGIT. Consumers and small businesses are invited to bring sensitive documents to be destroyed at no charge by commercial shred trucks, which are donating their services. Details at www.atg.wa.gov/Shredathon.aspx.

EVERETT — A loan officer accused of stealing funds from her customers’ mortgage loan proceeds was sentenced today to six months in jail and another six months of home monitoring, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced.
OLYMPIA – Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that he is teaming up with the Governor’s Office and the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development to investigate factors that influence gas prices in the state.
OLYMPIA -- Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna urge citizens to watch out for scam artists playing off legitimate charitable efforts following the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech.
SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with three California-based businesses that resolves allegations they installed software that took control of a consumer’s computer by launching aggressive and persistent pop-ups that demanded payment for a movie download service. The software was installed after users signed up for a seemingly anonymous free trial for the service.
OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna, Ken Miller and his family today joined Gov. Chris Gregoire as she signed into law a new notice requirement for property owners whose land has been targeted for government projects.

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a lawsuit against an estate property consignment business and its owner for allegedly failing to fully compensate customers for sold items and keeping unsold property. The company is located on the Olympic Peninsula and also does business online. The Attorney General’s Office filed a suit today in Kitsap County Superior Court, alleging violations of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act by Great Estates, LCC, of Port Orchard, and its owner, Alice Simpson, of Olalla. The company has also done business as Cornucopia Ailisia.

SEATTLE – Washington state consumers are eligible for refunds as part of a settlement reached between the Florida Attorney General’s Office and Email Discount Network (EDN). Email Discount Network, located in Florida, charged more than 250,000 consumers nationwide a monthly fee for shopping coupons and discounts the company advertised on the Internet.
Attorney General Rob McKenna will join Gov. Chris Gregoire in her executive conference room at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 17, 2007,  as she signs a bill they jointly requested to improve public notice in eminent domain cases and takes action on two of his other attorney-general request bills:

SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a lawsuit against Merchant Processing, Inc. (MPI), of Beaverton, Ore., and several of its associates. The suit alleges the defendants used deceptive tactics to sell credit and debit card processing services to small businesses in Washington state. The Attorney General’s Office filed its complaint today in King County Superior Court, alleging violations of the state’s Consumer Protection Act by MPI and two affiliated companies in Oregon: Vequity Financial Group, of Beaverton, and Direct Merchant Processing, of Tigard. MPI’s president Aaron Rian and vice president Michael DeGroat are also defendants.

The United States Supreme Court today granted Washington divided argument in a case regarding the authority to recover costs in the voluntary clean-up of contaminated sites.  Washington wrote an amicus brief filed last week on behalf of nearly 40 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico in favor of the company seeking to recover costs.  The Supreme Court will hear argument in this case on Monday, April 23, 2007.  Deputy Solicitor General Jay Geck will have 10 minutes to present the states’ argument.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today thanked the state Legislature for unanimously approving an important law that provides Washington residents with a new tool to protect themselves from potential identity theft and financial destruction. Substitute Senate Bill 5826 passed unanimously in both sides of the Legislature and will be delivered to Governor Chris Gregoire for signing.
The state of Washington led 37 other states, the District of Columbia and Commonwealth of  Puerto Rico today in submitting a “friend of the court” brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case regarding the authority to recover costs in the voluntary clean-up of contaminated sites.
Relating the story of a relative whose son drained her bank account, Attorney General Rob McKenna gave kudos to legislators for approving new tools to protect seniors, shared new resources in his office to help investigators and prosecutors crack down on elder crimes and announced a statewide vulnerable adults summit to develop best practices to protect vulnerable populations.
OLYMPIA – Two of Attorney General Rob McKenna’s requested bills were approved by the Legislature after unanimous votes today and will be delivered to Governor Chris Gregoire for signing. The bills help protect seniors from trust mill scams and create a new tool to punish abusers who strangle their victims.
Each year more than 565,000 cases of elder abuse are reported in the United States, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, but it is estimated as many as 5 million elders are mistreated each year.  Attorney General Rob McKenna, Social and Health Services Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams, state legislators and the state long-term care ombudsman Wednesday will discuss legislation and other proposals to protect vulnerable adults in Washington.
Attorney General Rob McKenna and Gov. Chris Gregoire  today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court decision in a critical challenge to the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the federal Clean Air Act.
Olympia – Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Cashmere High School on Thursday, and Cascade High School in Leavenworth on Friday as part of the on-going schedule of school visits in his “Operation:  Allied Against Meth” campaign.
OLYMPIA - The Washington State Supreme Court today ruled that the Department of Corrections (DOC) has the authority to collect payments for Legal Financial Obligations from all inmates, including those sentenced to death or life without parole.
Washington’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft, better known as LEGIT, today announced Washington’s first statewide shred-a-thon. Events at 29 locations statewide will help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.
The Office of the Secretary of State announced today a settlement has been reached in the federal court lawsuit filed by the Brennan Center for Justice in New York City.
As the Legislature enters the second major phase of the 2007 session, Attorney General Rob McKenna was pleased all his 2007 priorities remain alive and continue to progress toward becoming law with several scheduled for hearings in the next few days.
A loan officer convicted of stealing more than $44,000 from homeowners as part of a program to pay off their mortgages today received an exceptional sentence of 68 months incarceration, $70,600 in restitution and a $10,000 fine, Attorney General Rob McKenna announced.
OLYMPIA— Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced several new events as part of his "Operation: Allied Against Meth" campaign.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced a settlement today with three Washington-based businesses and their owners accused of taking unfair advantage of homeowners and other property owners facing tax foreclosure. At the same time, the office filed civil charges against two other individuals connected to the case.
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Attorney General Rob McKenna will be meeting today with U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to discuss legal and law enforcement issues facing the state of Washington– specifically gangs, methamphetamine and identity theft.
Attorney General Rob McKenna announced that he will answer Acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu’s Call to Action To Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking.  The Surgeon General’s call accompanies a report that identifies underage drinking as a serious public health and safety problem that must be addressed early, continuously and in the context of human development.
OLYMPIA…As the first legislative committee cut-off passes, all of Attorney General Rob McKenna’s legislative priorities continue to move through the process.
TACOMA – Qwest customers are invited to voice their opinions on a proposal for an alternate form of regulation that would allow the company to increase residential phone service rates without review by the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission. The proposal would also give Qwest broad pricing flexibility on bundles of services. The UTC will hold a public hearing March 6 in Tacoma to gather comments on Qwest’s request. Customers who are unable to attend are encouraged to submit comments in writing to the UTC.
OLYMPIA– Attorney General Rob McKenna will personally testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow to demonstrate his strong support for legislation he requested to combat the activities of criminal gangs.
We believe that Washington's 'top-two' primary meets the constitutional standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court and look forward to presenting our case
Lakewood driving school owner Gary R. Probst received a 50-day sentence in Thurston County Superior Court Thursday afternoon after entering a guilty plea for one count of first degree theft for evading more than $14,000 in taxes.
OLYMPIA– Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that new legislation to combat the activities of criminal gangs, a growing problem throughout the state, has now been introduced in both the state Senate and the House of Representatives.
Washington consumers filed 18,354 complaints with the Attorney General’s Office in 2006. Consumers reported fewer complaints about online auctions while communications companies and retailers, which have held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots for at least the last six years, continued to top the list.
Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a settlement with a Seattle company accused of making misrepresentations in the course of offering parking lot monitoring services to local businesses. The Attorney General’s Office alleged that Parking Enforcement Services, Inc., misrepresented its authority to enforce trespassing laws, operated in a way that deceived people as to the company’s authority to act as law enforcement, and offered an illusory “appeal” process to individuals who disputed fines.

Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that legislation to address assault by strangulation, one of the most serious domestic violence crimes, has been introduced by a bipartisan coalition in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a lawsuit against three California-based Internet affiliate advertisers and their respective business entities. The defendants are accused of sending anonymous “Net Send” messages to consumers’ computers that simulate Windows operating system warnings, transmitting bundled software that changes Internet browser home pages, and marketing registry-cleaner programs through the use of deceptive free scans.

SEATTLE - Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a $90 million nationwide settlement with Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. (“Samsung”), resolving allegations that Samsung and others major computer chip manufacturers fixed prices of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM). 

Attorney General Rob McKenna joined legislators and leaders from AARP and the Washington Credit Union League today in encouraging the state Legislature to give all Washington residents the opportunity to freeze access to their credit reports. They believe a preventative security freeze bill is needed to help individuals protect themselves from potential identity theft and financial destruction.

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna will conduct a press conference tomorrow on proposed legislation that would give all Washington residents the opportunity to freeze unauthorized access to their credit reports.

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Attorney General’s Public Counsel Section filed testimony today with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) questioning key parts of a proposal by Qwest that would allow the company to increase residential telephone service prices without review by the WUTC. Customers can share their thoughts about the proposal during a hearing March 6 in Tacoma.

SEATTLE & SPOKANE – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office has teamed up with nonprofit organizations and government agencies to sponsor several events in conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week (Feb. 4-10).

SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced a $8 million, multi-state settlement with Bayer Corporation concerning its marketing of Baycol, a drug used to lower cholesterol that was withdrawn from the market more than six years ago.

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna is partnering with The Advertising Council on a new campaign aimed at putting the brakes on fatal car crashes involving teens and young adults.

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced lawsuits against Veterans of Western Washington, Blind Children Services of Puget Sound and four individuals connected with those organizations.

Olympia - Governor Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna have sent letters to state agency directors urging them to take steps now to protect personal information from landing in the hands of identity thieves.

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna makes his first appearance before the United States Supreme Court Wednesday, presenting the state’s argument in Washington v. Washington Education Association.

Washington, DC—Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna will make his first appearance before the United States Supreme Court Wednesday, presenting the state’s argument in Washington v. Washington Education Association.

SEATTLE – The Public Counsel Section of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office said today’s decision by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission rejecting Puget Sound Energy’s effort to use "novel" ratemaking methods is an important victory for consumers.

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