Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Jun 01 2014

Bob FergusonWelcome from Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Dear Friends,

Recently I have been reflecting on some of our state's heroes.

I joined Governor Jay Inslee in recognizing 13 peace officers with the Medal of Honor—Washington’s highest law enforcement award. 

We bid farewell to Billy Frank, Jr., one of the state’s greatest tribal leaders and stewards of our environment.

On Memorial Day, I joined the Everett community at the Evergreen Cemetery, where some of my own relatives were laid to rest.

Most recently, we were all grateful for the quick action of Seattle Pacific University student, Jon Meis, who quickly subdued a gunman on campus and restrained him until law enforcement arrived, preventing even more injuries and deaths at his college.

We are blessed with many heroes who keep our state, our environment and our communities safe and I am proud to serve as your attorney general.

Sincerely,
Bob-Signature
Bob Ferguson, Washington State Attorney General


IN THIS ISSUE:


HEROES AMONG US

Condolences to victims, friends, families and classmates

We were all shocked and saddened by the recent shootings at Seattle Pacific University. In a statement, I joined other community leaders in expressing my sympathies for the victims, their friends, families and classmates. On behalf of our community, we appreciate the efforts of those who apprehended the suspect and saved lives.

13 officers receive Medal of HonorMOH

The Medal of Honor is the state’s highest law enforcement award.  It is given to officers killed or seriously injured in the line of duty and to officers who displayed exceptionally meritorious conduct.

Each May a ceremony is held at the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial in Olympia to remember and honor these men and women.

This year, we honored 13 officers, including eight men who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of Washington. Among those fallen law enforcement officers honored was Washington State Patrol Trooper Sean M. O’Connell Jr. who was fatally injured last year while directing traffic on the I-5 detour around the fallen Skagit River bridge.  You can find information about all the officers we honored and their service on our website

You can also see my remarks or watch the entire ceremony on TVW.

AGO tribute to a great tribal leaderFrank

When Billy Frank, Jr. passed away earlier this year, the people of Washington lost one of its great tribal leaders.  Frank’s life and times on the Nisqually River and in the jails and courtrooms of America, fighting for Indian fishing rights, are significant chapters in state and national history.    

The rest of my statement is available on our Web site.

I encourage you to learn more by reading his memorial in The Seattle Times.


AGO TRAVELOGUE

OthelloI travel frequently to learn about the issues impacting our state.  

As the Ellensburg Daily Record reports, implementation of the state’s new marijuana law continues to be a topic of great interest.

A big highlight of my trip to Othello was visiting McFarland Middle School, where I met the Columbia Basin Chess Champions and even played a tough game against one of their best players—eighth-grader Kyler Villarreal!     Read more in the Othello Outlook.

Oso RecoveryI joined the Association of Washington Business to discuss how the AG’s office works with businesses to ensure a fair marketplace. Read more on AWB’s Olympia Business Watch blog.

In Yakima, we discussed how the state should address mental health issues as a means of assisting law enforcement. Learn more from the story on KAPP TV in Yakima.

I also travelled up to Friday Harbor and Anacortes and over to Arlington to visit Rotary clubs and tribes and to share the work of the Attorney General’s Office in their areas.  


CONSUMER CORNER

First-ever crowdfunding lawsuit highlights consumer risks

I am committed to protecting Washington consumers, even in cyberspace.  Crowdfunding campaigns that cheat Washington consumers are no exception. 

My office recently filed the first consumer protection lawsuit in the country involving crowdfunding.   We filed the case on behalf of consumers who funded the “Asylum Playing Cards” campaign via Kickstarter in 2012, and never received their promised rewards. 

The campaign sought funding to print playing cards featuring the artwork of a Serbian artist.  It raised $25,146 from 810 backers, including at least 31 from Washington state.  Our lawsuit seeks restitution for supporters of the project who lost their money. 

Watch the KOMO News Story

Listen to KUOW national NPR story


AG's Action forces Dish Network to refund millions to Washington customers

Investigation reveals inappropriate charges

DISH

After an investigation by the Attorney General's Office found Dish Network was hiding illegal one-dollar surcharges in monthly bills, we forced them to dish out millions in refunds and other benefits for deceiving customers.

Washington consumers were illegally charged a dollar per month for up to eight months, and all are entitled to full refunds. If you were a Dish customer anytime from April to December 2012, click here for more information. Consumers have until Aug. 17 to claim their benefits.

Watch the KOMO news story for more.


Money coming to those scammed by Change-My-Address.com

Change-My-Address.com will pay roughly $3 million to consumers confused by the site's sneaky charges--including 20,000 people from Washington.

The site charged $19.95 for a service the US Postal Service provides for just $1— then tricked them into believing they were only paying $1 by hiding the true price when they clicked on the payment page.

Learn more about the scheme on the Today Show Web site.

Change-My-Address.com is required to email all consumers who have not received a refund with instructions on how to file a claim. Consumers have until August 7, 2014 to file a claim.


STANDING UP FOR WORKERS

The Attorney General’s Office prosecutes cases against employers who don’t play by the rules when it comes to their workers. 

$43,000 in back wages for workers in Auburn: Eleven workers underpaid for their effort on an Auburn activity center will share nearly $43,000 in wages owed to them after the state took legal action against the construction company involved.

Health benefits must be provided to same-sex spouses if provided to opposite-sex spouses: Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, Human Rights Commissioner Sharon Ortiz and I issued a letter to Washington state employers, insurance companies and benefit plan administrators reminding them if they provide health benefits to their employees’ opposite-sex spouses, they must also cover same-sex spouses.
The release of this letter comes on the heels of my recent investigation into O’Reilly Automotive Inc. that resulted in the company’s agreement to extend to same-sex couples the same health benefits they provide to opposite-sex spouses.

Felony conviction, probation for Lakewood landscaper who skipped out on workers’ comp coverage:  A Pierce County landscaper must serve one year on probation and perform community service for failing to provide workers’ compensation coverage for an injured employee.

Ferguson File