Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Jul 08 2016


Dear Friends,

The Attorney General’s Office continues to hold powerful interests accountable who don’t play by the rules. For example, we obtained one of the state’s largest-ever Consumer Protection settlements from Volkswagen for its decade-long deceptive practice of installing “defeat devices” in its diesel cars.

We also celebrated the history of both the Attorney General’s Office and former Attorney General and Governor Chris Gregoire, by renaming our Spokane Office in her honor.

In addition, I spoke in Pasco about worker safety at Hanford.

In this issue:

Thank you for following the work of the Attorney General’s Office.






Bob Ferguson
Washington State Attorney General

Volkswagen agrees to pay $26 million to Washington State

When big corporations don’t play by the rules, my office holds them accountable. That’s why we joined together with five other states to co-lead a multi-state coalition investigating allegations against Volkswagen.

This month, our Consumer Protection Team recovered $26 million for the people of Washington. That recovery is in addition to $14.7 billion settlement Volkswagen reached to compensate “clean diesel” car owners.

The recovery comes as a result of a decade-long cheating scandal. Volkswagen intentionally equipped cars marketed as “clean diesel” with a “defeat device” that allowed the cars to cheat emissions tests and dishonestly depict gas mileage. Without these devices, the affected Volkswagens, Audis and Porsches would not pass emissions tests.

Between 2009 and 2015, more than 20,000 of the affected vehicles were sold in Washington. 

Consumers sought these supposedly green vehicles in an effort to make a better choice for the environment. Volkswagen, however, pulled a bait-and-switch on Washington consumers, and our agreement holds them accountable.

In a related lawsuit, restitution will be made to those who own one of these affected cars in the form a choice between a buyback of the car or a modification to reduce emissions, as well as a payback of between $5,100 and $10,000. More information on these options, and a list of the affected car models and years, can be found in our news release. Full restitution details can also be found here.

We believe that the $26 million settlement represents the third-largest Consumer Protection recovery in Washington’s history. This was a very important victory for the people of Washington State.

Spokesman Review

VW to pay Washington $26 million for deceptive marketing of cars

NBC Right Now

WA State AG says Volkswagen has agreed to pay after deceptive marketing

Eyman, related groups forced to turn over records

After months of trying to get Tim Eyman and several groups related to his initiative campaigns to turn over records in our campaign finance investigation, we prevailed in court. Judges in Snohomish and Thurston counties agreed that Eyman and related for-profit signature gathering firm Citizen Solutions must turn over the records by July 13. The Attorney General’s Office will also receive reimbursement for costs and fees associated with enforcing the subpoenas.

Our investigation started in 2015, after a Public Disclosure Commission probe uncovered multiple violations of state campaign finance law by Eyman, his political committees Voters Want More Choices and Protect Your Right to Vote on Initiatives, Citizen Solutions and Eyman’s for-profit company “Tim Eyman, Watchdog for Taxpayers.”

No one is above the law, and I will not allow Eyman and his associates to stymie my investigation. 

Seattle PI
Judge to Eyman's signature gathering firm: Show AG your records -- or else

Everett Herald
Tim Eyman ordered to surrender tax records to investigators

Celebrating the Attorney General legacy of Gov. Chris Gregoire

The dedication of the new Christine O. Gregoire Spokane Division of the Attorney General’s Office on June 15 had special meaning for the former governor and for our office. Renaming the office was my way of honoring the exemplary public service career of Gov. Gregoire — the first female Attorney General in state history — while also recognizing her deep roots in the Spokane community.

Gregoire, the daughter of a single mom who worked as a short-order cook, began her legal career in Spokane as a law clerk, and graduated from Gonzaga Law in 1977. Former AG Slade Gorton recruited her as an Assistant Attorney General that same year to work in the Spokane office. She went on to lead the office, becoming the state’s first Deputy Attorney General.

Gregoire returned to the AGO as its leader after the first of three successful campaigns for Attorney General in 1992. She followed those 12 years as the state’s chief legal officer with two terms as Washington Governor.

The dedication ceremony and reception in Spokane featured Gov. Gregoire and family, former staffers, and dignitaries from the Spokane area and throughout the state.

Gregoire made immeasurable contributions to the Attorney General’s Office and the State of Washington, and the newly dedicated division marks where that trailblazing record of public service first took root.

Spokesman Review
State office building named for former Gov. Gregoire

Hearing their voices: Hanford workers speak out about conditions

In June, I was able to get out and talk to folks in different communities about some of the important work my office conducts. Keeping Washingtonians safe is a priority for me, and educating people about these issues is a key part of protecting them.

I attended a town hall event in Pasco to discuss the unsafe working environment at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and to hear from many workers sickened on the job at Hanford.

Our lawsuit to protect the health of Hanford workers is the most important work of my office. Unlike the cleanup of Hanford, for which we have clients such as the Department of Ecology, our worker safety lawsuit is being filed on behalf of the people of Washington. Past and present Hanford workers are our brothers, sisters, fathers and daughters, and they — and you — are our clients in this case. You can read more about our lawsuit against the federal government over hazardous tank vapors at Hanford here.

The federal government needs to honor its obligation to keep Hanford workers safe.


Dozens share Hanford health experiences at Town Hall Meeting with Attorney General

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