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AGO News Releases for 2002
OLYMPIA-12.31.02- An agreement announced today will require a major U.S. bank to more carefully control how telemarketers and other businesses use personal information obtained from the bank about its customers, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said.
December 20, 2002 > State Settles Ford SUV Rollover Case
SEATTLE -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced a national $51.5 million settlement with Ford Motor Co., manufacturer of the popular Explorer SUVs that have been linked to rollover accidents and 271 deaths and 700 injuries nationwide.
December 16, 2002 > State Sues Porn-Promoting Spammer
SEATTLE - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today accused a Houston, Texas man of violating the state's anti-spam law by deceiving Washington residents into opening e-mail that contained sales pitches for prescription medications and pornographic web sites.
SEATTLE - On Wednesday, Dec. 4, a King County Superior Court judge will consider a motion by Pierce and King counties and others to halt the implementation of I-776 in those counties.
Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Christine Gregoire today released their annual financial report on paid solicitors who ask Washingtonians to support charity.
SEATTLE - Qwest Communications will pay the state $1.3 million, make restitution to customers who claim they paid for unwanted or misrepresented services and will establish new customer service standards under an agreement announced today by Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
OLYMPIA - Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today that the Williams Companies, Inc. and the Williams Energy Marketing and Trading Company will pay $15 million to resolve state claims that it participated in market manipulations and overcharges that caused electricity rates to skyrocket for Washington consumers over the winter of 2000-2001.
Vancouver - Ben Hasson, former Ridgefield assistant public works superintendent, was ordered today to serve time in jail for filing false reports with state regulators and violating the state sewage laws at the city's wastewater treatment plant.
OLYMPIA -- A Missouri company that sells cigarettes over the Internet should be required to disclose its customers so the state can collect unpaid taxes, according to a lawsuit filed against the company by Attorney General Christine Gregoire.
October 31, 2002 > State Opposes Satellite TV Merger
SEATTLE -- Washington joined 21 other states and territories, the District of Columbia and federal regulators today in formally opposing the proposed merger of the country's two main satellite television services.
SEATTLE - Oct. 24, 2002 - A company that promised consumers they could make money viewing advertising over the Internet will now use the Internet to offer restitution to the same consumers.
SEATTLE - The Attorney General's High-Tech unit today filed a lawsuit against an Olympia man who used Internet auction sites to sell valuable, vintage baseball cards that failed to live up to their promise -- if they were ever delivered at all.
OLYMPIA -- The state Attorney General's Office filed suit late yesterday against the National Education Association for illegally using fees paid to it by non-members for political purposes.
SEATTLE - A Missouri company that misled Washington consumers, many of them elderly, into believing they could win big prizes by solving easy puzzles has agreed to offer refunds to consumers and pay the state nearly $50,000 in costs and attorneys fees.
September 13, 2002 > State Prevails in First Spam Case
SEATTLE - In another significant victory for Washington's anti-spam law, A King County Superior Court judge today declared that misleading commercial e-mail sent to millions of people violated Washington's 1998 statute.
SEATTLE -- Health and nutrition programs in Washington could receive as much as $200,000 from an antitrust settlement with the manufacturer of a popular electric cooking grill, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today.
Seattle -- Washington state, along with seven other states and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), today filed settlement papers that clear the way for the merger of Phillips Petroleum Company and Conoco, Inc.
OLYMPIA - Puget Sound Energy's natural gas customers will likely see an overall decrease in their monthly bills this fall under an agreement reached today between the company, state regulators, the Attorney General's Office and industrial users.
OLYMPIA -- A Vancouver, Wash., car dealer who depleted a 69-year-old mentally impaired man's retirement savings by selling him 18 cars in 14 months will pay $15,000 in civil penalties and $17,000 in attorney fees, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
OLYMPIA -- A Thurston County judge has approved an agreement between the Attorney General's Office and Exxon Mobil Corporation that will help reduce the sale of tobacco products to minors at its gas stations and convenience stores, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced.
EVERETT -- In a judgment filed today in Snohomish County Superior Court, Tim Eyman agreed to accept a lifetime ban on involvement in any political committee's financial accounts and to pay $50,000 to settle charges he violated the state's Public Disclosure Act.
OLYMPIA - The Attorney General's Office today petitioned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a decision by a three-judge 9th Circuit panel that would require the state to offer scholarship money to college students majoring in theology.
Olympia - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today filed a request to take part in a lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.) challenging whether D.O.E. can lower clean-up standards for some high-level waste at the Hanford site.
OLYMPIA - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today warned that a new tobacco product made to look like candy could lure young people into nicotine addiction, and she urged the federal government to regulate the product's marketing and sales.
OLYMPIA - A Thurston County Superior Court judge today ordered an Olympia man to permanently shut down an Internet website he used to promote a cancer treatment with no proven record of success.
OLYMPIA - State Attorney General Christine Gregoire today filed criminal charges against two men for violating state water pollution and sewage laws at the city of Ridgefield's wastewater treatment plant.
SEATTLE - July 11, 2002 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today filed a lawsuit against two Minnesota men whose e-mail pitches for debt consolidation services could mislead some people to think their credit ratings are at risk.
OLYMPIA - For a second time, Attorney General Christine Gregoire has sued a Blaine tobacco company for failing to create escrow accounts to cover future litigation arising from use of its tobacco products.
OLYMPIA -June 10, 2002 - The U.S. Supreme Court today announced it will review a Washington Supreme Court rule that requires lawyers and real estate closing officers to place client funds that cannot earn net interest for the client into a pooled account, the interest from which is then used to provide legal services to low-income persons.
Seattle - Puget Sound Energy will be limited to a 4.6 percent overall electric rate hike, will embark on a broad, new energy conservation program and will provide new assistance to low-income customers under a settlement reached today between the company, state regulators, the state Attorney General's Office of Public Counsel and others.
SEATTLE -Attorney General Christine Gregoire today accused Bristol-Myers, Squibb Co. -- manufacturer of the cancer drug Taxol -- of abusing federal patent law in order to keep a cheaper, generic competitor off the market.
Seattle - May 31, 2002 - Avista Utilities will not increase its rates further and will have to absorb a greater share of its expensive power purchasing agreements, according to a settlement reached today between the utility, state regulators and the Washington State Attorney General.
OLYMPIA -- Citing new evidence of unfair market manipulation by Enron Corp. during last year's power crisis, Attorney General Christine Gregoire today asked federal regulators to reopen the Northwest electrical refund case.
OLYMPIA - May 28, 2002 - The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear a Washington case that will determine whether the state Department of Social and Health Services can use Social Security money received on behalf of foster children to help provide for the children's care.
OLYMPIA-- Attorney General Christine Gregoire, along with California AG Bill Lockyer and Oregon AG Hardy Myers, today sent congressional investigators newly uncovered Enron documents outlining corporate schemes to manipulate energy markets in the West.
SEATTLE -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire today pledged to aggressively pursue drug and vitamin manufacturers who illegally manipulate the price and availability of their products.
OLYMPIA -- Weyerhaeuser Co. will contribute $130,540 toward a study into the performance of engineered wood siding in Pacific Northwest climates in an agreement that ends an investigation into whether the firm misrepresented the siding's performance.
OLYMPIA -- In January 2001, my office joined California and Oregon in investigating whether state or federal laws were violated during the recent energy crisis that resulted in dramatic increases in power costs for thousands of Washington consumers.
OLYMPIA -- Acting on a recommendation from the state Public Disclosure Commission, the Attorney General's Office today filed suit against the political action committee Permanent Offense and campaign leaders Tim Eyman and Suzanne Karr for alleged violations of Washington's Public Disclosure Act.
OLYMPIA -- Washington has been selected to act as the representative of public bondholders in the class action securities fraud lawsuit filed against Enron.
OLYMPIA -04/05/02 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company, the nation's third largest cigarette manufacturer, has agreed to pay 52 states and territories approximately $204 million that it withheld from payments due in January.
SEATTLE - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today joined Federal Trade Commission officials to announce the filing of more than two dozen Internet-fraud enforcement actions by 14 different agencies from western states and two Canadian provinces.
OLYMPIA - 3/28/02 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today a new report shows that the state should continue to provide adequate funding for anti-smoking efforts as a means to reduce the state's Medicaid costs.
TACOMA -3/28/02 - U.S. District Court Judge Franklin Burgess today ruled that the blanket primary, used in Washington since 1936 to determine major candidates on the state general-election ballot, is constitutional.
OLYMPIA - March 15, 2002 - A Thurston County Superior Court judge today ordered an Internet-based cancer cure promoter to stop marketing a controversial cancer treatment that has no proven success rate.
OLYMPIA - March 14, 2002 - The U.S. Supreme Court today will be asked to reverse a Washington Supreme Court decision that prohibits the state from using foster children's Social Security money to provide for their care.
March 4, 2002 - As the focus on state budget deliberations intensifies, I have been asked my opinion of proposals to sell off future tobacco payments in exchange for cash to help balance the budget.
OLYMPIA- 2/27/02 - An agreement between Citibank and several states, including Washington, will result in new restrictions on the use of personal financial information that the bank shares with direct marketers, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced today.
Olympia - February 20, 2002 - In a settlement with the state filed today, Avista Utilities has agreed to cut in half its proposed interim rate increase and contribute $50,000 to a fund providing emergency energy assistance to consumers, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced.
OLYMPIA -  Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced the signing of an agreement with the Walgreens drug store chain that will help curb the sale of tobacco to minors.
SEATTLE - Feb. 7, 2002 - With as many as 94 percent of Americans concerned about possible misuse of personal information, the business community has a strong interest in promoting consumer privacy policies that bolster consumer confidence.
OLYMPIA - Jan. 30, 2002 - The Attorney General's Public Counsel section today recommended the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) reject Puget Sound Energy's (PSE) request for an interim rate increase.
I congratulate Qwest for responding to consumer wishes by dropping its plan to share private customer account information with its marketing partners.
SEATTLE -- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced an $80 million national settlement with two drug manufacturers who conspired to illegally manipulate the price and availability of a popular heart medication.
SEATTLE -Jan. 18, 2002 - The Attorney General's Office today issued negligent driving citations against the drivers of two vans that crashed south of Spokane last February, killing two members of a touring Chinese dance troupe and injuring 23 others.
SPOKANE - Felony drug charges today were filed against a former Spokane County medical examiner who prosecutors say maintained a marijuana growing operation in his home and stole prescription medications from his job.
Attorney General Christine Gregoire today filed suit against an online pharmacy and a Florida physician who prescribed powerful antibiotics to treat and prevent anthrax without consulting, meeting or even speaking with patients.
OLYMPIA - January 9, 2002- Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire informed the state Supreme Court today that legislative leaders have agreed to take action to implement the state's new redistricting plan.
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