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AGO News Releases for 1997
Olympia- December 19, 1997 - The State of Washington today joined three other states and the Federal Trade Commission in signing consent decrees aimed at keeping gasoline prices competitive.
OLYMPIA -- A former Skagit County dairy farmer was sentenced to four days in jail after pleading guilty to four counts of violating the Washington Water Pollution Control Act for illegally dumping manure into a nearby drainage ditch.
Olympia - December 17, 1997 - State Attorney General Christine Gregoire urges Washington State University Cougars, alumni and supporters to be wise consumers in the scramble for the few remaining tickets to the 1998 Rose Bowl game.
OLYMPIA - December 2, 1997 - King County Superior Court Judge George Finkle has ordered that the State Attorney General's Office be given access to key tobacco company documents for use in the state's lawsuit against the industry. The AG's Office contends the documents will support its claim that the tobacco industry misrepresented the health hazards of smoking.
SEATTLE - The Washington State Attorney General's Office and the British Columbia Ministry of Attorney General today joined forces to seize assets and close down a Vancouver, BC telemarketer. The cooperative effort is part of crackdown by law enforcement agencies in both nations to stop cross-border telemarketing fraud.
The Attorney General's Office today warned consumers throughout Washington that charity scams have gotten an early jump on the holiday giving season. Consumers in the Seattle area are currently being called by "Operation Holidays - Set the Table Food Basket Drive," which asks for donations to buy gifts for holiday baskets they claim will be distributed by Northwest Harvest and Seattle Emergency Housing.
SEATTLE - October 8, 1997 - In an agreement negotiated by the Attorney General's Office, Vacation Time Worldwide will reimburse consumers who purchased travel club memberships and have not received their promised vacations. The Bellevue travel club has established a $100,000 trust fund to cover the reimbursement costs.
Spokane- -October 8, 1997 - The Washington State Attorney General's office announced this week seven Spokane and three Tri-Cities non-profit organizations will receive $30,000 as part of agreements reached with Ennis Fine Furniture and Oak Furniture Warehouse.
OLYMPIA - A Vancouver-area attorney was sentenced in Clark County Superior Court for his attempted assault of two people with a deadly weapon.
OLYMPIA - A federal judge has clarified what casino games Indian tribes and the state can negotiate under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. In his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle of Spokane accepted the state's argument that since Washington law expressly prohibits slot machines and other forms of machine gaming, they are not permitted under IGRA.
September 29, 1997 > VACATION BREAK TO REIMBURSE CONSUMERS
Seattle---Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced one of the country's largest marketers of Florida and Bahamas travel and timeshare vacations, will pay $225,000 in consumer restitution and $257,500 in penalties and costs to Washington and ten other states.
Seattle - September 18, 1997 - The Office of the Insurance Commissioner and the Office of the Attorney General today announced major action has been taken to improve the way auto-related products including credit insurance and service contracts are sold to consumers.
Olympia- September 18, 1997- A settlement was announced today in a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General's Office on October 10, 1995, challenging the alleged use of public resources to promote a 1994 Seattle School District school construction bond measure. The settlement includes an acknowledgment of violations of state campaign laws along with a commitment by the District to develop a plan to prevent future violations.
Olympia —September 3, 1997 - Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced that Sears, Roebuck & Co. will pay almost $4.9 million to the state and 4,450 Washington consumers under a $290 million multi-state settlement.
Olympia- August 25, 1997 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today that Florida’s $11.3 billion tobacco settlement underscores the need to move forward on a global settlement to ensure the same benefits won for children and adults in Florida will apply nationwide.
SEATTLE - August 19, 1997 - In an agreement with the State Attorney General’s Office, Leonard E. Vainio, owner of American Eyecare of Bellevue, has been barred from owning and operating any type of optical business in Washington for at least 10 years. The agreement is part of a settlement in an AG consumer protection lawsuit against Vainio.
SEATTLE - August 15, 1997 - The State Court of Appeals this week upheld a $500,000 penalty imposed in 1995 on a former Bellevue mortgage broker who used customer deposits to pay his personal rent. The penalty was part of a $2.3 million judgment against a series of mortgage brokers. This is the largest contested judgment ever entered in a consumer protection action brought by the Washington Attorney General.
June 26, 1997 - Olympia--Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today that while the United States Supreme Court said there's no constitutional right to physician-assisted suicide, it left the door open for Washington citizens to change the law that currently bans such practices.
Seattle - June 25, 1997 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced Washington state will receive nearly $264,000 as part of a $3.9 million multi-state settlement with a national agricultural chemical manufacturer for allegedly fixing the resale prices of its chemicals.
Olympia Attorney General Chris Gregoire said today's 5-4 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court upholding a Sexually Violent Predator Law modeled after Washington's statute is a major milestone in restoring public confidence in our system of justice.
June 20, 1997, OLYMPIA - Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire today joined 38 other attorneys general in announcing a proposed settlement of their lawsuits with tobacco companies.
May 13, 1997 - Olympia State Attorney General Christine Gregoire today released a first-of-its-kind research study that could significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of how law enforcement agencies investigate and solve child abduction murder cases. The study also gives parents and other child guardians valuable information to better protect children from becoming victims of these violent crimes.
April 25, 1997 - Spokane - Larry Briney, an attorney with more than 15 years of experience in complex legal issues including juvenile dependencies, adoptions, civil service/labor law and parole revocation, has been named to oversee the Spokane division of the Attorney General's Office.
SEATTLE -April 9, 1997- The Washington State Attorney General's Office today filed lawsuits against three fund-raising organizations who use and abuse the name of police and fire fighters to deceive consumers and businesses into donating thousands of dollars each year.
OLYMPIA- March 31, 1997 - State Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today she will go to court this week to get sensitive tobacco company documents deposited in King County Superior Court. Review of these documents by the court is the first step in their release to the state's legal team.
March 20, 1997 -Olympia - Washington state Attorney General Christine Gregoire and more than 20 other state Attorneys General today have signed a precedent-setting settlement with the Liggett Group, a Delaware-based cigarette maker.
Seattle, March 13, 1997 - Washington's Attorney General's Office today filed lawsuits against two local travel companies and a publicly traded Florida company as part of an FTC and multi-state sweep called Operation Trip-Up.
OLYMPIA - February 19, 1997 - The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division helped Washington consumers receive a record $5.4 million in restitution for unfair and deceptive business practices in 1996.
February 18, 1997 -- Olympia -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today she is disappointed the U.S Supreme Court refused to review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling which overturned the death sentence of convicted double-murderer Mitchell Rupe.
February 12, 1997 - OLYMPIA--The State Attorney General's Office filed suit today against the Washington Education Association alleging multiple violations of Initiative 134, the state's campaign finance law.
February 3, 1997 - SEATTLE -- The Washington Attorney General's Office today announced that Ultima Travel Inc., of Bothell and Lynnwood has set aside $100,000 to reimburse consumers who never received services or discounts promised by the club.
January 29, 1997 - Seattle -- America Online today agreed to refund monthly service fees, make cancellation easier, and stop advertising for February until the network and system problems caused by the introduction of their new flat rate pricing plan are resolved.
SPOKANE - JANUARY 22, 1998 - The Attorney General today announced a commercial fund-raiser, with solicitation offices throughout Washington, has agreed to stop misleading the public when soliciting donations on behalf of the largest professional firefighter organization in the state.
OLYMPIA- - January 16, 1997 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire and 21 other states today announced an agreement with Circuit City requiring the Virginia-based company to use guidelines to protect consumers from misleading and deceptive "Zero Interest" advertisements.
January 6, 1997 -  A fast growing consumer rip-off involves a procedure called slamming, in which long-distance phone service is changed without getting the permission of the consumer or business. This occurs when a telephone service provider, usually a small, high-priced company, informs the local phone company that a consumer has selected it to replace their current long-distance carrier. Assuming the consumer agreed to change, the local carrier switches the long-distance company.
OLYMPIA -- A former City of South Bend official was sentenced to 16 months in prison in Pacific County Superior Court today for stealing more than $153,000 in city funds. Colleen K. Mason pleaded guilty in November to five counts of first degree theft and one count of second degree theft.
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