Some in Corporate America appear to be concerned about the role and power of the 50 state Attorneys General. It’s said by persons in the know that in terms of cases – as well as the significance of cases – the state Attorneys General rival their colleagues at the U.S. Department of Justice. There is good reason for those who have been guilty of corporate wrongdoing and abuse to be concerned. Many cases have been brought by state Attorneys General in the civil courts against companies that have been guilty of fraudulent conduct and wrongdoing on a grand scale. Those cases have definitely gotten the attention of corporate boardrooms across the land.
In addition, there are a number of ongoing corporate investigations that are looking into a variety of subjects. Some Attorneys General have been more active than others. For example, Bill Pryor from my State of Alabama was one of the very first to file a significant civil suit when he took on the powerful oil giant ExxonMobil a few years ago. His successor Troy King picked up where now-Judge Pryor left off by continuing with the ExxonMobil litigation and by filing Medicaid fraud lawsuits against the drug industry. There have been several others who have taken on the bad guys, including Lori Swanson of Minnesota,; Andrew Coumo of New York; Jerry Brown of California; Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut; Martha Coakley of Massachusetts; Darell McGraw of West Virginia; Henry McMaster of South Carolina; Jim Hood of Mississippi; James E. Doyle of Wisconsin; Lisa Madigan of Illinois; Steve Six of Kansas; Mark L. Shurtleff of Utah; Mark Bennett of Hawaii; and Terry Goddard of Arizona. If any of our readers know of others, let me know.
As expected, the defenders of corporate wrongdoing and abuse have stepped up their campaigns in an effort to undermine the good work of the state Attorneys General. There will be legislation introduced in state legislative bodies designed to derail the efforts of the states. Op-ed pieces are being sent to media outlets, as well as letters to the editors of state newspapers, attacking the Attorneys General and attempting to mislead folks about what they have accomplished thus far. If you agree that state Attorneys General should go after the “bad guys” in Corporate America when they commit massive wrongs, let the Attorney General in your state know that you support him or her.
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