2018 AG Elections
Arkansas and Georgia Primaries Confirm Nominations of Uncontested Candidates
- Arkansas and Georgia both held primaries on May 22, 2018, for federal and statewide offices, including state attorney general.
- In Arkansas, Republican incumbent AG Leslie Rutledge and Democratic challenger Mike Lee won their respective parties’ nominations after running unopposed and will face off in the general election on November 6, 2018.
- In Georgia, Republican incumbent AG Chris Carr and Democratic challenger Charles Bailey won their respective parties’ nominations after running unopposed and will face off in the general election on November 6, 2018.
Acting New York Attorney General Selected as Replacement for Recently Resigned Attorney General as New Candidates Enter Open 2018 State AG Race
- Acting state AG Barbara Underwood, a Democrat, has been officially selected by a joint session of the state Senate and Assembly to serve out the remainder of former AG Eric Schneiderman’s term. Underwood has said she does not intend to run in the now-open AG election in November 2018.
- As previously reported, Underwood was named acting AG earlier this month in the wake of former AG Schneiderman’s resignation following New Yorker reports that he abused four romantic partners.
- Since the resignation of former AG Schneiderman, who had been expected to secure his party’s nomination unopposed, Democrats Leecia Eve, an attorney and former adviser to Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo, New York City Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James, a former New York City council member who has received the endorsement of Governor Cuomo, and Zephyr Teachout, a law professor and former gubernatorial candidate, as well as Republican Keith Wofford, a co-managing partner in the New York City office of an international law firm, announced they are running for AG this November.
- Wofford joins corporate attorney Manny Alicandro and Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach in seeking the Republican nomination.
Arkansas Attorney General Reaches Settlement with Online Candy Retailer to Resolve Allegations of Deceptive Advertising and Refund Practices
- Arkansas AG Rutledge announced a settlement with online candy retailer Treatsie, LLC (“Treatsie”) resolving allegations that it violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by allegedly engaging in deceptive advertising and deceptive customer service-related practices.
- As previously reported, Treatsie allegedly failed to deliver gourmet and artisanal sweets to subscribing customers on time and as advertised; failed to respond to inquiries, complaints, and requests to cancel orders and receive refunds; and made unauthorized charges to customers’ accounts.
- According to the AG’s office, Treatsie has entered a consent judgment under which it will pay approximately $155,000 in restitution to affected customers and $60,000 in civil penalties, of which $50,000 will be suspended.
Federal Trade Commission Names New Director of Bureau of Consumer Protection
- Andrew Smith has been named Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
- Prior to his appointment, Smith was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of an international law firm and has previously worked at the FTC.
- As Director, Smith will lead the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s enforcement efforts and investigations of alleged unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices.
Washington Attorney General Files Suit Against Real Estate Investment Company Over Alleged Deceptive and High-Pressure Sales Practices
- Washington AG Bob Ferguson filed suit against real estate investment company Real Estate Investment Network, LLC and three of its representatives and officers (collectively, “REIN”) over allegations they allegedly violated the state Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”).
- According to the complaint, REIN allegedly approached homeowners whose homes were recently sold in foreclosure to convince the homeowners to hire REIN to recover the surplus funds—funds raised in the sale of a home in excess of the outstanding mortgage balance—on the homeowners’ behalf in exchange for a fee. When homeowners agreed to retain REIN, REIN allegedly provided them contract documents that enabled REIN to keep as much as 50% of the recovered surplus funds.
- The complaint seeks a declaration that REIN has violated the CPA, injunctive relief, civil penalties, restitution, and attorney’s fees.
State AGs in the News
NAAG Issues Letter to Senate on Behalf of Bipartisan Coalition of 39 Attorneys General in Support of Federal Legislation to Enhance Penalties Against Opioid Manufacturers for Allegedly Suspicious Transactions and Prescription Drug Diversion
- The National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”), on behalf of a bipartisan coalition of AGs representing 38 states and U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, sent a letter to the chairs of the Senate Judiciary and Health, Education, and Labor Committees urging those Committees to support passage of the proposed Comprehensive Addiction and Recover Act 2.0 (“CARA 2.0”) and Comprehensive Addiction Reform, Education, and Safety Act (“CARES”), which contain provisions that would increase the penalties on opioid manufacturers for failing to report suspicious transactions, failing to maintain effective controls against diversion, and the illegal diversion of prescription drugs.
- The AGs argue that some opioid manufacturers fail to implement adequate measures to detect and prevent the illegal diversion of prescription drugs and that the enhanced penalties proposed under CARA 2.0 and CARES are necessary to ensure that manufacturers move quickly to prevent such conduct.
- According to the letter, CARA would increase civil penalties per violation from $10,000 to $100,000 for negligence in reporting of suspicious transaction activity and would increase the maximum criminal penalty from $250,000 to $500,000 for companies that willfully disregard or knowingly fail to maintain proper reporting systems or fail to report suspicious activity.