Digest 1.11.2018 The State AG Report Weekly Update

AG Elections

Democrat Clare Kindall Declares Candidacy for Connecticut Attorney General

  • Democrat Clare Kindall, an Assistant AG at the Connecticut AG’s office, announced her bid for Connecticut AG in 2018.
  • While serving as an Assistant AG, Kindall was head of the Energy Unit of the Connecticut AG’s office, representing the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and the Connecticut Siting Council. Prior to joining the AG’s office, Clare worked in private practice as a litigator for eight years.
  • Kindall joins fellow Democrat Chris Mattei in seeking her party’s nomination for AG. John Shaban is the sole Republican to announce his candidacy.
  • As previously reported, incumbent AG George Jepsen has announced that he would not seek re-election to a third term.

Democrat Kathy Jennings Announces Bid for Delaware Attorney General

  • Democrat Kathy Jennings declared her candidacy for Delaware AG in 2018.
  • Jennings recently stepped down from her position as New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer to prepare for her campaign. Jennings previously served as Chief Deputy AG at the Delaware AG’s office and spent over two decades working for the state Department of Justice.
  • In seeking the Democratic nomination, Jennings joins candidate Tim Mullaney, Sr., who served as Chief of Staff to the late AG Beau Biden. Thomas Neuberger is the sole Republican to announce his candidacy.
  • As previously reported, incumbent AG Matt Denn has announced he would not seek another term in 2018.


12 Attorneys General File Comments Opposing EPA’s Repeal of Truck Pollution Regulations

  • 12 Democratic AGs, led by California AG Xavier Becerra, filed comments with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) opposing the agency’s proposal to repeal the final rule “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2” (also known as the “Glider Rule”), which imposes emissions standards on specific types of refurbished heavy duty trucks called “gliders.”
  • Gliders are heavy duty vehicles with a used or refurbished engine incorporated into a new vehicle chassis, and the Glider Rule imposed emissions standards for engines on these gliders.
  • In the comments, the AGs state that unless properly regulated, gliders pose a pollution risk and threaten to “undermine the entire national program to reduce harmful emissions from heavy duty vehicles and engines,” and that repealing the Glider Rule does not comport with the EPA’s duties under the federal Clean Air Act to regulate harmful air pollutants.

Iowa Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Electronic Waste Recycler

  • Iowa AG Tom Miller filed a lawsuit against electronic waste recycler The Name Ministries, Siouxland P.C., and Electronic Recycling, L.L.C. d/b/a Recycletronics – Disabled Veterans at Work (collectively “Recycletronics”) for allegedly violating state environmental regulations.
  • According to the AG’s office, Recycletronics allegedly illegally dumped and improperly stored approximately 17 million pounds of electronic waste—primarily cathode ray tubes—in Iowa and Nebraska and failed to comply with the repayment obligations of a loan issued to Recycletronics by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) to purchase equipment for the disassembly, processing, and transportation of certain recycled materials.
  • The lawsuit seeks civil penalties not exceeding $5,000 for each day of the violation, a permanent injunction against any further violations by Recycletronics, an order requiring Recycletronics to remove and properly dispose of all electronic waste, and repayment of all outstanding DNR loans.

Financial Industry

50 Attorneys General Reach Settlement with Mortgage Lender to Resolve Allegations of Improperly Serviced Mortgage Loans

  • 50 AGs from 49 states and the District of Columbia settled with mortgage lender and servicer PHH Mortgage Corporation (“PHH”) to resolve allegations that it violated the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act, as well as the states’ unfair and deceptive acts and practices laws.
  • According to the AGs, PHH allegedly improperly serviced single-family mortgage loans between 2009 and 2012 by charging unauthorized fees, failing to timely apply borrowers’ payments, threatening foreclosure on borrowers engaged in loss mitigation, and failing to keep proper foreclosure documentation.
  • Under the terms of the consent judgment, PHH will pay $45 million, which includes over $31 million to borrowers, $5 million in attorney’s fees and costs, and over $8 million to state mortgage regulators as an administrative penalty.

Health Care

Massachusetts Attorney General Sues Mental Health Facility Over Alleged False Billing of Medicaid 

  • Massachusetts AG Maura Healey filed a lawsuit against mental health facility South Bay Mental Health Center, Inc. (“SBMHC”), H.I.G. Growth Partners, LLC, and H.I.G. Capital, LLC (collectively, “H.I.G.”), and two former executives of Community Intervention Services (“CIS”) for allegedly violating the Massachusetts False Claims Act.
  • According to the AG’s office, SBMHC allegedly submitted up to $123 million in fraudulent claims to MassHealth—the state’s Medicaid program—between 2009 and 2018 by billing MassHealth for mental health services provided by unlicensed, unqualified, and unsupervised personnel. The AG’s office further alleges H.I.G., which acquired SBMHC from CIS in 2012, knew of SBMHC’s regulatory violations and took no action to bring SBMHC into compliance or repay MassHealth for the improper payments as required by law.
  • The lawsuit seeks treble damages, civil penalties, and prejudgment interest.

State AGs in the News

Hawaii Attorney General to Step Down to Run for U.S. Congress

  • Hawaii AG Doug Chin, a Democrat, will step down on March 15 to run for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District seat. As previously reported, AG Chin announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives in late December 2017.
  • AG Chin was appointed by Governor David Ige to serve as AG in 2015. Prior to his appointment, he was the Managing Partner of a private law firm and served as the Managing Director for the City and County of Honolulu from 2010 to 2013.
  • AG Chin’s replacement will be appointed by the Governor. The Hawaii AG is a non-elected position that is appointed by the Governor with approval by the state Senate.