Digest 11.30.2017 The State AG Report Weekly Update

AG Elections

Democrat Former Governor Pat Quinn Files to Run for Illinois Attorney General Open Seat

  • According to reports, former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has filed to run for Illinois AG in 2018.
  • Quinn served as Governor of Illinois from 2009 until 2015, losing his 2014 bid for re-election to current Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. He previously served as Lieutenant Governor from 2003 to 2009 and as state Treasurer from 1991 to 1995.
  • Quinn joins a crowded field of Democrats seeking the Democratic nomination for AG, including Renato Mariotti, state Representative Scott Drury,Sharon FairleyAaron Goldstein, state Senator Kwame Raoul, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, and Jesse RuizErika Harold is the sole Republican to announce her candidacy to date. The candidate filing deadline is December 4, 2018 and the primary election is March 20, 2018.

Republican John Shaban Declares Candidacy for Connecticut Attorney General

  • Republican John Shaban announced his bid for Connecticut AG in 2018.
  • Shaban has worked as a commercial litigator in Stamford, Connecticut and had served in the state House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017. In 2016, he was the Republican nominee to challenge Democrat incumbent U.S. Representative Jim Himes.
  • Earlier this week, incumbent AG George Jepsen announced that he would not seek re-election to a third term.

Republican Ross Spano Announces Bid for Florida Attorney General

  • Republican state Representative Ross Spano declared his candidacy for Florida AG in 2018, an open seat currently held by term-limited Republican AG Pam Bondi.
  • Spano was first elected in 2012 to the state House of Representatives and is a managing partner in private practice.
  • Spano joins three fellow Republicans—state Representative Frank White, Ashley Moody, and state Representative Jay Fant—seeking the Republican nomination for AG. Ryan Torrens is the sole Democrat to announce his candidacy to date. The candidate filing deadline is June 22, 2018.

Republican Troy King Declares Candidacy for Alabama Attorney General

  • Former Alabama AG Troy King, a Republican, announced his bid for Alabama AG in 2018.
  • King was first elected AG in 2010 but lost re-election in the Republican primary against former AG Luther Strange. He is currently overseeing his own law firm in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • King is joined by incumbent AG Steve Marshallformer Acting AG Alice Martin, and former Trump campaign state chairman Chess Bedsole in seeking the Republican nomination. Republican candidate Sam McClure announced last Wednesday that he is exiting the race. To date, no Democrats have declared their candidacy for AG. The candidate filing deadline is February 9, 2018.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

CFPB Obtains Consent Order Against Multinational Bank Over Alleged Student Loan Servicing Failures

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) took action against multinational bank Citibank, N.A. (“Citibank”) for allegedly violating the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by failing to properly service student loans.
  • According to the CFPB, Citibank allegedly deceived student loan borrowers regarding their paid qualified interest and tax deductions, misrepresented minimum payment amounts due, and issued erroneous terminations of in-school deferments resulting in accrual of excessive or inaccurate interest.
  • The consent order requires Citibank to pay $3.75 million in restitution to consumers harmed by its loan servicing, pay an additional $2.75 million penalty to the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund, and implement policies to correct its loan servicing practices.

Consumer Protection

New York Attorney General Writes Open Letter to FCC Chairman Alleging Corrupted Public Comments Process on Net Neutrality Rule

  • New York AG Eric Schneiderman wrote an open letter to Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Ajit Pai in which he discussed an investigation of the FCC’s notice and comment process and alleged that unknown individuals misused consumers’ identities to issue public comments on net neutrality rule changes.
  • In April 2017, the FCC announced that it would issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning the repeal of its existing net neutrality rules, which is open to a notice and comment process. AG Schneiderman alleged that “tens of thousands of New Yorkers may have had their identities misused” to submit falsified public comments.

Data Privacy

California AG Reaches Settlement with Health Care Provider Over Alleged Privacy Violations

  • California AG Xavier Becerra reached a settlement with health care provider Cottage Health System (“Cottage”)—including affiliated hospitals Goleta Valley, Santa Barbara, and Santa Ynez Valley—to resolve allegations that it violated the state’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, Health Insurance Portability and Affordability Act (“HIPAA”), and Unfair Competition Law in connection with two data breach incidents.
  • According to the complaint, Cottage allegedly experienced two data breaches resulting from “system-wide data security failures,” including the use of servers with patient medical records connected to the internet without encryption, password protection, firewalls, or permissions against unauthorized access. Cottage was notified by a third party of an alleged breach in December 2013; Cottage discovered a second alleged breach during an AG investigation in November 2015.
  • Under the terms of the settlement, Cottage Health must maintain an information security program that ensures that Cottage protects the security, integrity, and confidentiality of patients’ medical information and agree to pay a $2 million penalty, which includes attorney’s fees and investigation costs.


California AG Reaches Settlement with Broadcast Satellite Service Provider Over Alleged Hazardous Waste Mismanagement 

  • California AG Becerra reached a settlement with DIRECTV, LLC (“DIRECTV”) over the company’s alleged improper disposal and handling of hazardous waste in violation of the state’s hazardous waste control law.
  • According to the complaint, DIRECTV is alleged to have “routinely and systematically” sent hazardous waste materials to local landfills not permitted to accept such materials and that such conduct allegedly gave DIRECTV a competitive advantage over other regulated entities that complied with the law.
  • Under the agreement, DIRECTV is enjoined from committing future violations and must pay $9.5 million, including $7.8 million in civil penalties and costs, $1.1 million for environmental protection projects, and at least $581,900 over the next five years to enhance environmental compliance at its 25 California facilities.