Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Nov 01 2014

Welcome from Attorney General Bob Ferguson

BobDear Friends,

My deepest sympathies go out to the victims of the Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting and their families, as well as teachers, classmates, friends and neighbors who share in their grief.  This event is also a reminder of the role our state’s first responders play in protecting our communities and saving lives.  I extend my gratitude to the Marysville police and other emergency personnel who responded to this horrific tragedy, prepared to risk their own lives to help others.

Highlights from the Attorney General’s Office this month include a new, multi-state offensive in the national fight against human trafficking and another environmental win for the people of Washington.  I’m also proud to share examples of the outstanding work my criminal prosecutors have been doing to assist counties and help keep dangerous sex offenders out of local communities. 

Among significant news on the consumer front, we've reached an unprecedented agreement that will improve nursing care for hundreds of residents of 15 Extendicare facilities in Washington state.

As always, thank you for following the work we are doing for the people of Washington. 

Sincerely,

Bob-Signature

Bob Ferguson
Washington State Attorney General


IN THIS ISSUE:


Fighting Human Trafficking

AG Ferguson leads national effort to prevent online child sex traffickingtemple

I have called on Congress once again to do more to stop the exploitation of children online.  Leading a nationwide effort to crack down on Internet sex trafficking, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and I spearheaded a letter, signed by 53 state and territorial attorneys general.  Together, we urge the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to approve the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act.  The SAVE Act (Senate Bill 2536) would provide more oversight of websites that offer “adult services,” such as Backpage.com.

Our letter was sent to Congress just as the state Supreme Court heard arguments on whether a lawsuit against Backpage.com by three victims of child sex trafficking can go forward. The young victims argue the site promotes the victimization of children. I filed an amicus brief in support of the children last month. 


Prosecuting Environmental Crimes

Man charged in attempt to redirect Tahuya River Tahuya River

My environmental prosecution team filed three misdemeanor charges against a man accused of attemping to divert the Tahuya River.

Mason County resident William Cayo Sr. allegedly used an excavator and bulldozer to alter the River's course near his home without the proper permits.   Unpermitted and improperly designed work in a riverbed or on a shoreline can cause sustantial environmental damage.   My office is handling this case at the request of the Mason County Prosecuting Attorney.

More about this story on Kirotv.com.

Pierce County derelict vessel owner pleads guilty, is ordered to repay state $300,000 in clean up costs

In a second environmental win for the people of Washington last month, another derelict vessel owner was held accountable for polluting state waters.  In January, my office charged Stephen Mason, owner of the Helena Star, with abandoning the sunken vessel in the Hylebos Waterway in Pierce County.  Mason pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 days of confinement, two years probation, and ordered to repay the state $300,000 towards cleanup costs involved in removing the derelict vessel.

Puget Sound Business Journal

Tacoma sunken ship owner to pay $300,000


Protecting communities from dangerous sex offendersRazorwire

Prosecutors from the Attorney General's Sexually Violent Predator Unit succeeded in preventing two repeat sex offenders, one in Walla Walla and one in Spokane, from being released into local communities.   The team's work continues in Pierce County as they seek to prevent a Tacoma sex offender from being released into the community.

KULR8 News
Walla Walla Man Agrees During Trial he's a Sex Predator

Spokesman-Review
In brief: Jury commits man it deemed violent sex offender


Consumer Corner

Extendicare to pay Washington more than $1M to resolve multistate lawsuit

Residents at 15 Washington nursing facilities will receive better care because of an unprecedented $28 million agreement my office reached with Extendicare Health Services, Inc.   

My office's leadership role in this first-of-its kind multistate effort to hold a corporate nursing facility accountable for substandard care should serve as notice to all nursing facilities. My office will protect the rights of our seniors and other vulnerable adults.  Subpar care will not be tolerated. 

The News Tribune

Attorney General inks agreement with national nursing company Extendicare; state gets $1 million in $28 million deal

AG Ferguson announces $105 million “cramming” agreement with AT&T Mobility

More than 500,000 Washington AT&T customers may be entitled to refunds for hidden charges from the $105 million agreement between state attorneys general and AT&T Mobility.  My office entered into the agreement last month to stop deceptive billing practices by AT&T known as "cramming,” or adding hidden charges to subscribers' phone bills. 

If you are a current or former AT&T customer, you may submit claims to the AT&T Mobility cramming refund program by visiting www.ftc.gov/att.  


Connecting with local communities

Juan Radio Wenatchee

I had the opportunity last month to connect with communities in Wenatchee and Vancouver.

In Wenatchee, I spoke to the Sunrise Rotary, met with the Wenatchee World Editorial Board, and visited Juan Radio.

In traveling to Southwest Washington, I spoke to the Vancouver Rotary and met with the Editorial Board of The Columbian.

Check out this summary of the key issues we covered.

Ferguson discusses key legal issues with editorial board

 

Ferguson File