Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates

August 2, 2018
ANNUAL MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
#CWAG2018
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman Appointed to Top Post for Organization of Western AGs
Coffman assumed the position Wednesday, succeeding Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich
July 26, 2018

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman will serve as the next chair of the Conference of Western Attorneys General, the organization announced Wednesday.

“I am honored to have earned the support of my esteemed colleagues to serve as CWAG’s next chair,” Coffman said in the news release from the attorney general’s office. “The strong bond between Western attorneys general has been forged by many years of collaboration on pressing issues effecting citizens of the West. We see possibilities when we work with colleagues across the country and the world.”

Coffman was chosen at the organization’s yearly summer meeting and took over the position Wednesday. She was preceded by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
Awards Recognize Outstanding AGO Service
July 23, 2018

Wyoming Chief Deputy Attorney General John Knepper was given the prestigious Nelson Kempsky Management Award for 2018, in recognition of his extraordinary service as a manager and leader since 2013.

New Mexico Chief Deputy of Civil Affairs Tania Maestas received the Jim Jones Public Service Award, recognizing her tireless service to the New Mexico AGO, the citizens of New Mexico, and the national Attorney General community. Tania has also been a highly valued instructor for the CWAG Alliance Partnership since its inception.
Nebraska AGO Consumer Website Wins WAGGY Award
July 30, 2018

The Nebraska Attorney General’s Consumer Protection website (www.ProtectTheGoodLife.nebraska.gov) recently received the 2018 Consumer Outreach WAGGY award at the annual Conference for Western Attorneys General (CWAG). This honor is given by CWAG to “the office that best demonstrates a commitment to providing valuable information to their state’s consumers.” The CWAG committee awarded the Nebraska Attorney General’s site based on its resources that aid a wide range of consumers as well as its easy-to-use design for reporting scams and other issues.
Congratulations to all the 2018 WAGGY Award Winners
  • Best Use of Online Technology: Montana
  • Best Victim Services: Iowa
  • Best Consumer Outreach: Nebraska
  • Biggest Stride: Michigan
  • Best Redesign: Vermont
  • Best Overall: Oregon
CWAG and Cellebrite Update Digital Forensics Repository to Serve Legal and Law Enforcement Professionals Nationwide
The Resource Library supports creating legal policy and procedures around lawful access to evidence from public and private cloud sources.
July 23, 2018

CWAG and working group partner Cellebrite, a leading provider of digital intelligence solutions, announced the public launch of a comprehensive repository of digital procedural documents and educational assets designed to enhance the investigative process for the legal community. Previously only available to CWAG members, the library and its digital intelligence resources are now accessible to a new, broader and thoroughly vetted community – legal and public sector professionals who can access the documents by providing information such as a verifiable government email address.

Through partnerships with influencers and collectives in the law enforcement and investigative world, Cellebrite continues to work with the public to increase access to digital intelligence for a safer world.
NM Attorney General Announces Pilot Project For Mexico Extraditions
July 25, 2018

More than 25 Mexican attorneys general and other officials in those offices attended a conference just north of Albuquerque with many of their American counterparts this week.

The goal was to improve communication among the officials and to seek more training opportunities, said Víctor Antonio Carrancá Bourget, the attorney general of the Mexican state of Puebla, during a Wednesday news conference.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said at the conference that New Mexico and the Mexican state of Guanajuato have launched a pilot project aimed at improving communication between America’s attorneys general and their counterparts south of the border.
CWAG 2018 Binational Attorney General Exchange Held in New Mexico
The CWAG Alliance Partnership celebrated its 2018 Binational Attorney General Exchange in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, on July 25th. Officials from 14 Mexican and 18 US Attorneys Generals’ Offices, plus personnel from Mexico’s Federal Attorney General’s Office and INL-Mexico, participated in a variety of panels to discuss topics of current interest such as Familial DNA Testing, Cryptocurrencies, the Opioid Crisis, Legalized Marijuana, Human Trafficking, and Biometric Security.
HOT TOPICS
Hot Topics Discussed At The 2018 CWAG Annual Meeting
Check out the latest articles on topics that were addressed during the Annual Meeting in New Mexico! ( Note: Subscription may be required for access .)
BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP LEGISLATION
24 Attorneys General Offer Support to House Financial Services Committee on Beneficial Ownership Legislation
August 2, 2018

CWAG President and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent a letter to Representatives Jeb Hensarling and Maxine Waters, Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, expressing support for legislation which would improve corporate transparency by requiring companies to disclose beneficial owners. They were joined in the letter by the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia .
CONSUMER PROTECTION
Idaho Joins National Effort to Target Fraudulent Charities That Falsely Claim to Help Veterans and Service Members
July 19, 2018

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced Idaho’s participation in Operation Donate with Honor, a federal and multistate crackdown on fraudulent organizations that claim to benefit veterans and service members. The enforcement and education sweep includes the Federal Trade Commission, law enforcement officials and charity regulators. Participants include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico. So far, the project includes more than 100 actions against charities, fundraisers and individuals.

How You Can Help
Wasden encourages potential donors to learn how to spot deceptive solicitations and to make sure their contributions actually benefit veterans and service members.

Tips include:
·       Ask for the charity’s name, website, and physical location;
·       Ask how much of any donation will go to the charitable program;
·       Search the charity’s name online with the word “scam” or “complaint”;
·       Check out the charity’s ratings at the Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Watch or Charity Navigator;
·       Never pay with cash, a gift card or by wiring money; and
·       Consider paying by credit card, which is the safest option for security and tax purposes.
AG Josh Stein Announces $33.2 Million Settlement With Alere Over Medicare And Medicaid False Claims
July 26, 2018

Attorney General Josh Stein announced that North Carolina has settled with Alere Inc., a medical device maker that an investigation determined had knowingly sold unreliable diagnostic testing devices to hospitals. The settlement is joined by the federal government and all 50 states. The total settlement is $33.2 million, of which North Carolina will receive $459,033.22. North Carolina’s funds will go toward restitution and other recovery.
AG Becerra Issues Consumer Alert on Price Gouging Following State of Emergency in Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino and Napa Counties
July 30, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a consumer alert following the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency in Lake, Mariposa, Mendocino, and Napa Counties due to widespread natural disasters. Price gouging during a state of emergency is illegal under Penal Code Section 396.

During and after a state of emergency, California law generally prohibits charging a price that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price of an item before the declaration of emergency. This law applies to those who sell food, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials and gasoline. The law also applies to repair or reconstruction services, emergency cleanup services, transportation, freight and storage services, hotel accommodations and rental housing. Exceptions to this prohibition exist if, for example, the price of labor, goods, or materials has increased for the business.
Travel Scams in Full Swing During Summer Months
Precautionary Steps to be a Savvy Traveler
July 19, 2018 

With temperatures skyrocketing into triple digits, many Arizonans are scrambling to book getaways in cooler places to beat the heat. Before you book a hotel, Attorney General Mark Brnovich wants to warn consumers about the latest travel scams and how to avoid them. By following the tips below, Arizona consumers can stay safe, avoid the scams, and make the most of their vacations. 
SCAM ALERT: AG Balderas Warns of Scammers Pretending to be State Employees to Steal New Mexicans’ Cash
July 20, 2018

Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a scam alert, warning New Mexicans that scammers are calling from phone numbers with “New Mexico State Government” listed on caller ID, and trying to trick people into handing over their money.

If you receive a scam robo-call, Attorney General Balderas also encourages you to register with the Federal Trade Commission’s national Do Not Call Registry.  If you register your phone number there, callers must stop calling your phone number after you have been registered for 31 days.
Arizona AG Brnovich Warns Consumers to Remain Vigilant Against Government Imposter Scams
July 30, 2018

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is warning consumers and businesses about government imposter scams that are continuing to make the rounds in Arizona. Recently, the Attorney General’s Office has seen an uptick in consumer complaints about scammers pretending to be from the Social Security Administration.

Government imposters use a variety of tactics to intimidate victims into providing money or personal information. Con artists will typically demand that the victim take action right away to avoid being arrested or sued. 

Attorney General Mark Brnovich offers these tips:        
·       Do not give out or confirm personal or financial information unless you know who you are dealing with.
·       Legitimate government offices will not threaten you with imprisonment or demand that you pay a debt immediately.  
·       Hang up the phone if you are being harassed.
·       If you question the legitimacy of the call, email, or other correspondence, contact the agency directly using the information you find on the agency’s website. Do not use numbers or website addresses provided in the original communication, as these may be fake.
·       Do not wire funds or purchase and send a prepaid card (i.e., iTunes, Amazon, Green Dot, etc.) in response to a telephone call demanding immediate payment.
·       Look closely at literature you receive claiming to be from a government agency and read the fine print.
·       If someone comes to your house posing as a government employee, ask to see credentials. 
OPIOID CRISIS
Office Of Nevada’s Attorney General Announces Statewide Television And Radio Partnership Promoting Opioid Abuse Prevention
August 1, 2018

The Office of Nevada’s Attorney General Nevada Attorney General’s Substance Abuse Working Group together with the Nevada Statewide Coalition Partnership has formed a public education partnership with the Nevada Broadcasters Association to facilitate a statewide outreach initiative raising awareness about the opioid epidemic. The four month initiative will feature English and Spanish announcements on radio and television.
GHOST GUNS
AG Ferguson Sues Over Giving Dangerous Individuals Access To 3D Printed Firearms
Downloadable guns make weapons easier for criminals to obtain
July 30, 2018

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is leading a multistate lawsuit to block a federal government action that gives criminals and terrorists access to downloadable, untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed weapons. This lawsuit is being filed in federal court in Seattle. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia joined Washington’s lawsuit.

On July 31, the court granted a temporary restraining order in the case.
TRO
TOBACCO
AG Balderas urges FDA to ban Flavored Tobacco
Research Repeatedly Shows Flavored Tobacco Leads Middle and High School Students to Begin Tobacco Use at Young Age
July 20, 2018

Attorney General Hector Balderas joined a bipartisan coalition of nine Attorneys General in urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban flavored tobacco products. In March, the FDA began soliciting information related to the role that flavors play in the use of tobacco products. As part of its rule-making process, the FDA is seeking comments, data, research, and other results regarding flavored tobacco and its impact on certain populations. The Attorneys General are urging a complete ban of flavors in all tobacco products
AG Becerra: FDA Should Prioritize Public Health and Safety in New Tobacco Rules
July 25, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra submitted a series of comment letters this month to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the agency to promote public health and safety when considering new tobacco rules. In the comment letters, Attorney General Becerra addressed proposals to de-regulate premium cigars, set a maximum nicotine level standard, set a standard on flavored tobacco products, and assess the effects of such changes on illicit trade in tobacco products.

COMMENT LETTERS
HUMAN TRAFFICKING
AG Balderas Announces Back to School Human Trafficking Awareness Training Aimed at Providing Educators with the Tools to Save Lives
July 26, 2018

Attorney General Hector Balderas, in partnership with education leaders from around the state, announced training dates for the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office’s Back to School Human Trafficking Awareness and Incident Tool Response Training for School Personnel. This training will help educators identify signs of possible human trafficking, and provide recommendations for how to respond to concerns about potential human trafficking cases.

New to this year’s training is the introduction of a new, free “incident response” tool sponsored by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. This new tool will focus on answering questions related to technology-related incidents involving children. The interactive tool helps educators understand how to respond in these situations.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Mining Corporation Fined $2.7 Million for Leaking Arsenic into Arizona Creek
July 24, 2018

A Maricopa County Judge ordered Bagdad Hillside, LLC, to pay fines and surcharges totaling $2,745,000 after an investigation revealed the corporation was discharging arsenic into a public creek.

The company was convicted of three felony violations of the Arizona Pollution Discharge Elimination System. In addition to the fines and surcharges, the corporation was also placed on two years of felony probation.
ELDER ABUSE TASK FORCE
AG Schimel Takes Action with Task Force on Elder Abuse
August 2, 2018

 Attorney General Brad Schimel held the fourth meeting of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse, and is continuing to take action on elder abuse as elder abuse in Wisconsin grows. According to data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), from 2001 to 2017, reported allegations of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and requests for information about elder abuse increased 160% in Wisconsin.

At the task force meeting on Thursday, August 2, Attorney General Schimel and task force members discussed financial exploitation, reforms to address elder abuse in other states, and needed criminal law changes, and the latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on elder abuse in Wisconsin.
CONGRATULATIONS
AG Rutledge Announces Birth of Daughter
Says, ‘daughter is an absolute blessing and gift from God’
July 30, 2018

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and husband, Boyce Johnson, announced the birth of their daughter, Julianna Carol Johnson. She was born July 27, 2018, weighing 5 pounds 15 ounces and 18.9 inches long. Julianna is the first child for the couple. The family is recovering well at home and is grateful for the outpouring of support.

“Boyce and I are bursting with joy over our new addition to the family,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The birth of our daughter is an absolute blessing and gift from God. Thank you to our family, friends, and all Arkansans for the outpouring of well wishes and prayers throughout my pregnancy.”
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Announces Director for the Office of Innovation
July 18, 2018

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) Acting Director Mick Mulvaney announced he has selected Paul Watkins to lead the Bureau’s new Office of Innovation.
Watkins served as chief counsel for the Arizona AG's 150-person civil litigation division and also headed up the office's fintech initiatives. He managed the nation's first state "sandbox," which eases the regulatory burden for firms trying to launch new products.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT
Welcome to the Sponsor Spotlight, where each week CWAG will celebrate one of our private sector partners.

For 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has pledged allegiance to America and its people. We take great pride in our standing as one of the country’s most iconic companies, and hold precious our responsibility to brew great-tasting, high-quality beers.

We are 18,000 colleagues strong—spread out across the country, but united by a passion for great beer. We make major investments each year in our breweries and facilities, and in cutting-edge scientific research. Why? Because we are never satisfied. We embrace new technologies and innovations so that we can brew, package, transport and deliver our more than 100 brands in the most environmentally- sustainable way possible. 

We bring the same dedication and commitment we have for brewing great American beer to supporting the communities we call home. From showing up when disaster strikes, to making our communities safer and more responsible, to being good stewards of land and water, our Dream is unwavering:

Bring people together for a better world, for the next 165 years and beyond.
AILD
Updated American Indian Law Deskbook Is Now Available

The American Indian Law Deskbook  is a concise, direct, and easy-to-understand handbook on Indian law. The chapter authors of this book are experienced state lawyers who have been involved in Indian law for many years.

American Indian Law Deskbook  addresses the areas of Indian law most relevant to the practitioner.
Topics include:
  • Definitions of Indians and Indian tribes
  • Indian lands
  • Criminal, civil regulatory, and civil adjudicatory jurisdiction
  • Civil rights
  • Indian water rights
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Environmental regulation
  • Taxation
  • Gaming
  • Indian Child Welfare Act and tribal-state cooperative agreements
AG ELECTION TRACKER
Follow the 31 AG Races in 2018 on this Interactive Website
A significant number of states, 30 and the District of Columbia, have contests for the Office of Attorney General. Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice hosts an interactive map for those interested in following the races throughout the country. The State AG Election Tracker includes state-by-state AG candidate snapshots, filing deadlines and primary election dates; daily news, insights, polling and fundraising data; and the ability to sign up for real-time election-night updates via text and email. Access is free.
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