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  • September 4

    We are enjoying a late summer heat wave across the Commonwealth, prompting many of us to adjust the air conditioning in our homes.  However, dialing down the thermostat too much during these high temperature months can result in costly energy bills, and for many Kentuckians, every dollar saved can make a difference when trying to make ends meet. As your Attorney General, I’ve worked hard to stop more than $1 billion in proposed rate increases by utility companies.  There are also actions you can take as a consumer to cut down on utility costs not only this season, but year-round.  By making a few minor adjustments to how your family uses energy in the home, you can save money on your bill and reduce your environmental impact as well.

    Five simple energy-saving tips my Office of Rate Intervention and I have put together to help you and your family beat the heat and cut costs during unseasonably warm weather are to 

    1. Conduct a home energy audit.
    2. Install a programmable thermostat.  
    3. Install efficient lighting.
    4. Replace outdated appliances with EnergyStar appliances or maximize the efficiency. 
    5. Turn off or use “sleep” mode to power down computers & home office equipment. 

    Elizabeth and I will use this upcoming holiday weekend to spend time with our two girls.  I hope you will have the opportunity to do the same with your family, as you soak up the last few days of summer.  We should also take time to pause and celebrate our American laborers, who work tirelessly for the betterment of our Commonwealth and our country.  I hope you'll join me in remembering the hard-working families across Kentucky who have made this state a great place to live, work and raise a family.   

    Lastly, I would like to wish all of our great college football teams across Kentucky the best of luck as this new season gets underway!  Western Kentucky had a big win last night over Southeastern Conference foe Vanderbilt in Nashville.  The Kentucky Wildcats will open newly renovated Commonwealth Stadium this weekend in Lexington against Louisiana-Lafayette and the Louisville Cardinals will battle the sixth ranked Auburn Tigers on national TV Saturday afternoon.  Enjoy the football festivities and please have an enjoyable and safe Labor Day weekend.

  • August 28

    I enjoyed participating in the great traditions of the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville this past week.  The state fair offers an annual opportunity to unite farmers and families to celebrate Kentucky’s culture.  Yesterday, I attended the 52nd annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast which raises money for charity by auctioning off a prized Kentucky Ham.  At this year’s Ham Breakfast, the winning ham sold for $400,000 with proceeds going to the charity of the buyer’s choice.  I have always been a strong advocate for farm families.  I settled the disputed tobacco MSA payments and ensured Kentucky and its farmers would receive those payments going forward.  My Office also raised awareness about cybersafety and protecting children from internet predators by operating a booth located in the South Wing at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center.   The booth had great giveaways and information to raise awareness about other issues including consumer protection and prescription drug abuse.  

    I appreciated speaking at the Governor’s Local Issues conference this morning in Louisville.  I was proud to discuss how our Office has developed and expanded multiple programs to help make Kentucky a safer place to live and raise a family.  I pledged to crack down on prescription painkiller abuse, protect our children online and go after those who have defrauded the Commonwealth.   Now more than seven years later, we have a record – one of promises made and promises kept.  We have shut down half of the state’s pain clinics, and we are expanding drug treatment in Kentucky.  I’ve always said that in order to break the cycle of addiction, we must invest in both treatment and education.  One our biggest accomplishments in the area of treatment occurred in 2014 when we announced that $32 million secured by my office through two pharmaceutical settlements would be used to expand substance abuse treatment across the state, including treatment for opiate addictions.   With these funds, we were able to fight the growing heroin addiction in Kentucky head on by providing life-saving Narcan heroin overdose reversal kits to three major hospitals in Northern Kentucky, Lexington and Louisville. 

    I’ve followed through on my commitment to vigorously prosecute child predators and crack down on Internet crimes.  Since creating our Cybercrimes Unit in 2008, we’ve conducted 491 investigations and seized more than 740,000 child pornographic images and videos from the Internet.  I launched our Cybercrimes Unit in an effort to stem the rising tide of online crimes, and I know our efforts are helping make the Internet a safer place for Kentucky kids.  

    Lastly, I was very proud to discuss, even while facing nearly 41 percent budget cuts since 2008, we have recovered $260 million for the Kentucky Medicaid Program – an increase of 600 percent – and intervened to halt almost $1 billion in proposed utility rate increases on Kentucky families.

     

  • August 21

    I enjoyed being in Lexington earlier this week to address the 2015 Kentucky Prosecutors Conference. This was my final address and awards presentation to Kentucky prosecutors as Attorney General. I was honored to deliver awards to four accomplished attorneys for their service in the past year. The recipients of the 2015 Outstanding Commonwealth's Attorney Awards were Courtney Baxter serving Henry, Trimble and Oldham County, and Shane Young serving Hardin County. The Outstanding County Attorney Awards were presented to Clay M. Bishop, Jr., of Clay County and Steve Gold of Henderson County. Kentucky prosecutors and my Office have accomplished a tremendous amount by working together since 2008. We've cracked down on cybercrimes, worked to curb the prescription pill epidemic, and taken the eWarrants system statewide. Thank you to the prosecutors who help keep our communities safe. Read more information on the winners here.

    I had a great time kicking off the Kentucky State Fair festivities at the Thursday morning Commodities Breakfast. I helped serve ribeye steaks provided by the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association. It was nice to serve the farmers who serve our Commonwealth by putting food on our tables. As Attorney General, I've been a strong advocate for farm families. I settled the disputed tobacco MSA payments and ensured Kentucky and its farmers would receive those payments going forward. This year at the state fair, my office and I are raising awareness about Cybercrimes and protecting children from internet predators. Our booth​ is located in the "Kidz Biz" section of the South Wing at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. If you're heading out to the fair, I hope you'll stop by to learn more about how we can all work together to help keep our children safe from internet predators.

    Finally, I would like to congratulate the Bowling Green Eastern Little League team for winning their way into the Little League World Series. This determined bunch erased some of the sting of Kentucky's loss in the final four by beating the Wisconsin Burlington Little League team 13-0 in the final game of the Great Lakes Regional. They are now in Williamsport, Pennsylvania set to take on the West Region Champion Bonita, California today at 2:00 p.m. EDT on ESPN. For a copy of the Little League World Series Bracket click here. I wish Manager Rick Kelley and Pitching Coach Paul Kilgus (a former Major League Pitcher turned Little League pitching coach) the best of luck in their quest to follow in the footsteps of the 2002 Valley Sports Team from Louisville in bringing home a Little League World Series Championship to the Commonwealth. ​

  • August 14

    It’s hard to believe that summer is nearing an end and kids are heading back to school.  I hope that the students who are already hitting the books had a great week.  You know, the start of a new school year is a great time to chat with your kids about the dangers of underage drinking.  A new year can bring new peers and new pressures, so it’s important to encourage your children to make healthy choices and avoid risky behavior.  The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) is a great resource on promoting responsible decision-making, especially when it comes to alcohol.  You can find additional information on the FAAR website here.

    Earlier this week, two members of the Carrollton Police Department were indicted by a Carroll County grand jury on allegations that an inmate was driven to Louisville and placed on a bus to Florida without Court authorization.  The officers allegedly defied a Court order to transport the mentally disabled inmate to a state hospital.  The grand jury returned indictments for 50-year-old officer Ronald W. Dickow and 48-year-old chief of police Michael S. Willhoite, both of Carrollton, Ky.  The grand jury indicted both Dickow and Willhoite on charges of complicity to commit kidnapping, complicity to commit custodial interference and official misconduct.  I am proud of my Office of Special Prosecutions and my Department of Criminal Investigations for holding these officers accountable for their alleged unprofessional behavior.  A trial date has been set for December 1. 

    Elizabeth and I are looking forward to next week’s Kentucky State Fair.  This year at the state fair, my office and I are raising awareness about Cybercrimes and protecting children from internet predators.  Our booth is located in the “Kidz Biz” section of the South Wing at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center.  If you’re heading out to the fair, I hope you’ll stop by to learn more about how we can all work together to help keep our children safe from internet predators. 

  • August 7

    This week, I was proud to join Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R) and publicly announce our support for a series of legal actions a bipartisan group of states will take to stop the latest Greenhouse Gas rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  We joined attorneys general from 13 other states in asking the EPA to halt implementation of the rules by filing an administrative stay with that agency.  The group will also take legal action soon in the D.C. Circuit seeking to delay the September 6, 2016, deadline for states to submit compliant plans to the EPA.  The group will also challenge the legality of the rule itself.

    I sued to stop this rule when it was first proposed.  Now that it has come out in its final form, we will continue to challenge it aggressively at every opportunity.  I believe, once again, the courts will rule that the EPA has overstepped its authority.  I have challenged the President in the past and won - that is just what I plan to do in this case.  This challenge is about the future of our Commonwealth and ensuring that our state doesn’t bear the brunt of an ill-conceived Washington, D.C. regulation that hurts Kentucky coal and Kentucky jobs. 

    Earlier this week, I warned Kentuckians to protect themselves from fraud and be vigilant of phone scams claiming to be associated with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Recently, my Office of Consumer Protection has received calls from consumers who report that they have been contacted by scammers identifying themselves as IRS representatives or “officers.”  The scammers are reportedly telling victims they owe money to the IRS.  The scammers are also leaving voice messages stating that the victim must take care of a “time-sensitive matter” and return the call, or the IRS will take legal action against the victim.  

    If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative from the IRS who is threatening to take legal action against you, that is a strong indicator that it’s not really the IRS.  Additionally, when the IRS first contacts a taxpayer, they do so via postal mail, not by phone. These scammers participating in this type of scheme use common names and fake IRS badges numbers.  They may also demand payment via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer; however, the IRS doesn’t ask for either of these payment methods, nor will they ask for credit card numbers.  Consumers are also encouraged to be vigilant of fake emails that look like legitimate IRS correspondence.  Victims and consumers wishing to report phone scams can contact the Office of Consumer Protection at 888-432-9257 or visit ag.ky.gov.  Consumers can also report scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 877-382-4357 or ftc.gov/complaint.  For more information and tips to avoid and report these scam artists please read my warning issued this week​

  • July 31

     When I was first elected as your Attorney General in 2007, I pledged to crack down on prescription painkiller abuse.  I was proud to join Gov. Beshear, Senate President Stivers, House Speaker Stumbo and Lieutenant Governor Luallen earlier this week to announce a study that proves our landmark prescription pill legislation is making a real difference in Kentucky.  The study specifically researched and analyzed the impact of state law known as House Bill 1, which was passed in a special session by the 2012 General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Beshear.   The results are proof of what we can accomplish working together when we put people over politics.

    Since Kentucky’s landmark prescription drug abuse legislation took effect in 2012, the Commonwealth has seen a significant decline in the number of prescriptions for the most commonly abused medications, doctor shopping has decreased by more than 50 percent, and more Kentuckians are seeking treatment for prescription medication addiction.  These findings, among others, are part of a yearlong study conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky Institute for Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy and compiled in a report to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.   The study’s executive summary and full report are available in the KASPER Studies and Surveys section of the KASPER public website.

    Kentucky continues to operate under the 30 day anti-price-gouging provisions that I requested and Gov. Beshear implemented when he declared a state of emergency in the wake of the severe thunderstorms and flooding a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, we are getting reports of scam artists in Johnson County and other places most severely damaged by the storms.  These “travelers” and other fly-by-night contractors prey upon devastated areas to take advantage of the storm victim’s situation. These situations create an environment for fraud and victims are especially vulnerable.  Shoddy construction, price gouging, charity scams, impersonating officials, and taking money without performing the work are common scams which occur during natural disasters.  For more information and consumer tips to avoid these scams, please click on the following warning issued by my Office​ earlier this week. 
  • July 24

    My thoughts and prayers are with families affected by recent flooding, particularly those in Johnson County who have suffered loss of life. Be assured, my office stands ready to investigate and prosecute anyone who seeks excessive profits during emergency situations. Those who have fallen victim to these storms should not be victimized again by unscrupulous price-gougers and scam artists.

    My thanks to Gov. Beshear for allowing us to act quickly to protect Kentuckians. Together, we were able to put Kentucky on notice that price-gouging businesses and scam artists preying on flood victims will not be tolerated. Last week, Gov. Beshear declared a state of emergency in the wake of the severe thunderstorms and flooding. At my request, he also triggered the price-gouging provisions, which will remain in place for 30 days from the declaration.

    The provisions are consumer protection measures that empower the Attorney General to investigate and prosecute those who sell gasoline, generators, building supplies, chain saws, hotel rooms and other necessary goods and services grossly in excess of the prices at the time of the emergency declaration unless the sellers' costs increased as well.

    My Office of Consumer Protection stands ready to help. I encourage anyone with specific information regarding possible price gouging to call my Consumer Protection Hotline at 888-432-9257.

    For other prudent tips during this time of loss and rebuilding please see the storm repair and water damaged vehicle service tips available here.

    And for public health concerns associated with water damage include mold mitigation and prevention, carbon monoxide exposure and proper food handling and storage check out our Mold Remediation page.

    Finally, I would like to wish a happy birthday to my daughter, Eva, who turned 6-years old earlier this week. Elizabeth and my two growing girls give me the inner strength, pride and joy to continue to work hard representing families across the Commonwealth. Happy 6th Birthday Eva!

  • July 10

    During my tenure as Attorney General, I’ve made fighting illegal corporate practices that hurt Kentucky consumers a top priority.  Earlier this week, I joined 47 other attorneys general to ensure that Chase Bank USA N.A. and Chase Bankcard Services Inc. will reform their unlawful credit card debt collection practices.  The agreement requires Chase to significantly reform its credit card debt collection practices in areas of declarations, collections litigation, debt sales and debt buying.  Debt buying involves the sale of debt by creditors or other debt owners, often for pennies on the dollar, to buyers who then attempt to collect the debt at full value or sell it to other buyers.  In many cases, Chase stacked the deck against consumers by pursuing or unleashing collections cases based on false or incorrect information.  These include instances where the listed debt was the wrong amount, was tied to the wrong person, was discharged, time barred or very old.  The agreement may be viewed by clicking here.
    This past week, investigators with my Cybercrimes Unit arrested two Louisville men for possessing child pornography.  Michael A. Browning, 35, and Gregory Mathis, 43, were arrested and remain in custody.  Electronic devices were seized at each home and Cybercrimes forensic examiners will perform forensic analysis on those seized electronic devices.  It is alleged that Mathis created a fake Facebook account and then posed as a 15-year old boy to illicit explicit photos from girls under the age of 18.  I appreciate the hard work of my Cybercrimes Unit in protecting our children and adults in the Commonwealth.  These laws are in place to protect the citizens of Kentucky and to ensure the innocence of childhood is protected from online predators.

    Finally, in a continuing effort to put people before politics, I joined a bipartisan effort of 46 other state attorneys general by sending a multistate letter to members of the U.S. Congress emphasizing the importance of maintaining states’ authority to enforce data breach and data security laws, and their ability to enact laws to address future data security risks.  In 2014, Kentucky consumers were affected by national data breaches at: PF Changs, Dairy Queen, Jimmy Johns, Goodwill, Home Depot, Kmart, Community Health Systems, eBay, UPS Stores, Staples, Sally’s Beauty Supply, and JP Morgan Chase.  The letter urges Congress to preserve existing protections under state law, ensure that states can continue to enforce breach notification requirements under their own state laws and enact new laws to respond to new data security threats.  It’s my job to protect consumers and communicate with them about data breaches and potential identity theft.  By sending this letter, we are taking another step to safeguard personal and financial information of all Kentucky consumers.  

       

  • July 2

    I have joined eight other state Attorneys General in a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down a new rule from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that unlawfully expands the federal government’s regulatory reach over local streams, lands and farms.  The rule, known generally as the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, would extend the EPA and Corps of Engineers’ regulatory reach to an untold number of small bodies of water; including roadside ditches, short-lived streams and any other area where the agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years. 

    In order to best protect the citizens, farmers, and the taxpayers of the Commonwealth, I am challenging this overreaching rule imposed by the EPA.  This finalized rule, in my opinion, is illegal.  This latest rule written by the two administrative agencies, gives them virtually limitless power over non-navigable, intrastate small-sized lands and waters.  This overly burdensome rule flies in the face of the tradition of environmental regulation, which is to allow states to develop their own responses in how they deal with what’s required by the Clean Water Act.  By challenging this rule, we continue to fight a long-term battle regarding an overreach by the EPA under this administration.  I will fight this battle every step of the way.

    I hope you'll take a few moments to read my latest monthly column​ detailing our recent victory against the EPA in the United States Supreme Court.  And you can catch up on all of the latest news from my office by reading oumonthly newsletter​, Kentucky General News. 

    Finally, Elizabeth and I are looking forward to Saturday, July 4, to celebrate the birth of our nation and the birth of our youngest daughter Alex.  I encourage you to thank a veteran or active military service man or woman for their service and sacrifice to defend our freedom.  Because of their bravery and dedication, we are able to celebrate Independence Day.  Please have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.
     

  • June 26

    During my tenure as Attorney General, I’ve made fighting public corruption a top priority.  My office of Special Prosecutions handles many cases throughout the state including public corruption and mismanagement of state funds.  Earlier today the former Montgomery County Master Commissioner admitted to abusing the public’s trust.  40-year-old Myra Chenault of Mt. Sterling, Ky., entered a guilty plea in Franklin Circuit Court to one count of abuse of public trust.  As part of her plea agreement, Chenault agrees to serve two years in prison, which will be diverted for a period of three years.   Chenault also agreed to pay back $60,000 in restitution and relinquish her license to practice law.
     
    This past week, investigators with my Cybercrimes Unit helped to secure a guilty plea in a federal child pornography distribution case.  Alan K. Newberry, 43 of Park Hills, Ky., pled guilty in federal court to distribution of child pornography.  Newberry will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.  Newberry will be sentenced on September 24, 2015.  He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  This case was investigated by my Cybercrimes Unit.  I appreciate the hard work of my Cybercrimes Unit in protecting our children and adults in the Commonwealth.  These laws are in place to protect the citizens of Kentucky and to ensure the innocence of childhood is protected from online predators.
     
    My Office has investigated and prosecuted more abuse and neglect cases than any previous Kentucky Attorney General.  On Tuesday in a case investigated by my Office, 28-year-old Ashley Burchett of Princeton, Ky. was sentenced in Christian Circuit Court to three years in prison, which will be diverted for a period of three years.  It was alleged that Burchett, while a caregiver at Outwood Intermediate Care Facility in Dawson Springs, abused a non-verbal resident with severe mental disabilities by pushing him into his wheelchair when he tried to stand up and by striking him in the head with a can of chewing tobacco.  I believe strongly that every patient in a nursing home, Medicaid facility, or personal care home deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and should be free from patient abuse, neglect or exploitation

  • June 19

    Earlier this week, I enjoyed meeting future leaders of the Commonwealth chosen as representatives from the American Legion Boys and Girls State programs. These programs were designed to expose young Kentucky high school students to the rights, privileges and the responsibilities of a franchised citizen.  Young men and women from across Kentucky participate in mock governments at the city and state levels.  At the state level, participants elect officials and develop the executive and legislative branches of government.  The judiciary branch is covered through speaker presentations at the state and lower levels.   

    American Legion Kentucky Boys and Girls State are among the most respected educational programs of government instruction for high school students, and are considered a highly regarded leadership training programs.  Our office enjoyed hosting the KY Boys State Attorney General Alexander Grove and the KY Girls State Attorney General Sarah Hoffman.  I appreciate their interest in government and public service. 

    I enjoyed visiting our Eastern Kentucky field office in Prestonsburg this week.  Our field offices in Prestonsburg and Louisville allow us to reach more citizens throughout the state. We have worked hard to make sure all Kentuckians, especially those in rural areas Kentucky, have their voices heard.  Consumers from across the state who may not have access to our Frankfort, Prestonsburg or Louisville offices can always access us online at www.ag.ky.gov​.  We’ve made it easy for folks to fill out consumer protection complaints online.

    Finally, I’m looking forward to enjoying Father’s Day with my two daughters and my father, Tom.  I have learned so much from my father, and I only hope that I can provide my girls with the wisdom and guidance that he has given me throughout my life.  I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the company of your loved ones this weekend as well. Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers and grandfathers in our great Commonwealth of Kentucky.

  • June 12

    ​During my tenure as Attorney General, I’ve made protecting children and fighting online predators a top priority.  In 2008, I created our Cybercrimes Unit.  Investigators from this unit concentrate their efforts on cases of online solicitation, scams and identity theft.  The Cybercrimes Unit also helps process digital forensic evidence from cell phones and computers in its lab, reducing the turnaround time for investigators across Kentucky.  It’s estimated that 80 percent of crimes today now involve some sort of digital forensics. We also conduct regional trainings for law-enforcement officers and prosecutors in how to preserve and process this evidence.

    In the recent weeks, investigators with my Cybercrimes Unit have participated in multiple investigations leading to arrests.  Two men in Jefferson County were arrested for allegedly trying to arrange a meeting with a 15-year-old girl for sex.  Another man in Casey County​ was arrested for 20 counts of allegedly possessing child pornography.  All three of these defendants are facing prison time for these offenses and their equipment used to contact minors or view illegal images has been seized.
     
    Since the creation of the Cybercrimes Unit in 2008, we’ve launched more than 450 investigations and seized more than 700,000 child pornographic images and videos from the Internet.  I know that our efforts are helping make the Internet a safer place for Kentucky kids, and I appreciate the work my Cybercrimes investigators do each day.  For additional information on our efforts to protect Kentuckians from Internet predators, visit our website “Cybersafety in Kentucky” page at http://ag.ky.gov/cybersafety/.  To report cyber abuse, visit the CyberTipline or call 1-800-843-5678.
     
    Earlier this week, a federal court in the District of Columbia denied our challenge to the proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Section 111d rule.  I strongly believe this rule, if enacted, would do grave damage to Kentucky’s economy.  The rule is not yet final, and we launched this early challenge in order to be proactive in protecting the interests of the Commonwealth and voicing our concern for potential damage to our state’s businesses and ratepayers.  The bipartisan coalition of states that I have worked with on this case is preparing a petition for rehearing.  If the rules are finalized, we will challenge the final rule.   This is a long-term battle regarding an overreach by the EPA and by this administration.  I plan to fight this battle every step of the way.
     
    Finally, I want to congratulate jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Bob Baffert and American Pharoah on breaking the 37-year streak and bringing a Triple Crown back to the Bluegrass.  American Pharoah was bred in Kentucky by his owner, Ahmed Zayat, CEO of Zayat Stables, LLC, and foaled at 11 p.m. on Groundhog Day, 2012, at Stockplace Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.  I know I share many Kentuckians hope that he returns to his birthplace in Lexington to race in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland this Halloween.

  • June 5

    ​​As required by law, my office held a public drawing on Wednesday morning to select the six Kentucky counties that will undergo post-election audits.  In the coming weeks, my investigators will conduct independent inquiries in Greenup, Laurel, Taylor, Lewis, Jefferson and Calloway counties.  We’ll be checking election forms and voting machines, interviewing county officials, and looking for any election irregularities.  It’s also important to note that this was a random drawing, and the selection of these counties does not imply that irregularities are suspected.  These audits ensure a fair and equitable election process and supplement the work our investigators did leading up to and during the primary election.  You can read more about our post-election audit drawing here
     
    The warm weather is here and we have published some tips for Kentucky families to conserve energy and keep your cooling bills low in the hot months ahead.  Please check out my monthly column​, which was posted online this week.

    Finally, I want to wish trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza good luck as American Pharaoh takes the track in New York for the Belmont Stakes.  The third jewel of the Triple Crown has proven to be an elusive victory for some of the best horses in the last 37 years.  Top notch thoroughbreds like Spectacular Bid, Alysheba, Pleasant Colony, Sunday Silence, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Charismatic, War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, Big Brown, I’ll Have Another and California Chrome were able to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness but not the Belmont Stakes.  Affirmed in 1978 was the last winner of the Triple Crown.  We have waited 37 years for a Triple Crown winner, and I will be watching and rooting for American Pharoah to break that streak this weekend. 

  • May 29

    Earlier this week, First Lady Jane Beshear and I were proud to deliver on a promise to help all Kentuckians, regardless of socio-economic and insurance obstacles, obtain life-saving Narcan heroin overdose kits where they are needed most.  Assisted by doctors and hospital administrators on Tuesday, we introduced this Narcan kit distribution program at St. Elizabeth’s Healthcare in Northern Kentucky. Overdose patients will receive a kit free of charge when they leave the hospital, so they or a loved one can prevent another overdose event and possibly save a life.

    “There is evidence the collaborative efforts in our community are having an effect,” said Garren Colvin, interim President and CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “A report earlier this month indicated that heroin-related overdose deaths are down in Northern Kentucky. To continue to battle heroin issues in our community and throughout Kentucky, it is going to take education and collaboration at the local and state levels. No single organization or individual can solve this on their own; success will only come with great teamwork and meaningful partnerships. We are grateful for Kentucky’s contribution today.” 

    In 2013, 230 Kentuckians died from heroin overdoses. The final numbers for 2014 are not currently available, but officials do expect substantial increase in the number of heroin overdose fatalities. That alarming trend has risen sharply in the last five years and my Office has committed numerous resources toward reversing that trend and saving lives.

    On Wednesday, I announced the recipients of two $1,500 college scholarships created in 2013 to help high school seniors whose lives have been impacted by prescription drug addiction.  Sydney Fryman, a graduate of Nicholas County High School, and Lennon Reed, a graduate of Logan County High School, are two very deserving teens who were selected to receive the “Sarah Shay and Michael Donta Memorial Scholarships for Hope and Healing.”  

    The scholarships are in memory of 19-year-old Sarah Shay and 24-year-old Michael Donta.  Shay, of Morehead, Ky., died of a prescription drug overdose in 2006.  Donta, of Ashland, Ky., lost his battle with prescription painkiller abuse in 2010.  Sarah and Michael’s parents, Dr. Karen Shay and Mike Donta, have traveled with me across Kentucky to help educate middle and high school students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and heroin.  Together, through my Keep Kentucky Kids Safe program, we have shared this important message with approximately 40,000 students, teachers, and parents in Kentucky. 

    Sydney and Lennon are two incredibly determined teens who have embraced positive lifestyles, excelling in both their personal and academic lives, despite seeing firsthand the devastating consequences of prescription drug abuse.  During their high school careers, Sydney and Lennon participated in numerous community service and extracurricular activities, held down part-time jobs, and maintained excellent GPAs.  I commend both teens on their hard work, and I wish them only the best as they pursue their college degrees.  This fall, Sydney will be attending Bluegrass Community & Technical College, and Lennon will be attending Western Kentucky University.  People can now make online, tax-deductible donations​ to the scholarship fund.  

  • May 22

    Kentucky voters headed to the polls this week to vote in multiple state races.  Our Election Fraud Hotline is an important tool to ensure honest and fair elections for all Kentuckians.  I am pleased to report that of all the calls received, no major election violations were reported.  Six counties will be chosen in a random drawing to undergo independent inquiries to identify any potential irregularities that may have occurred during the primary election on May 19.  These audits are required by statute and supplement the work our investigators did leading up to and during the primary election.  The Election Fraud Hotline is open throughout the entire year during normal business hours at 800-328-VOTE (800-328-8683).

    Earlier this week, I proudly joined state law enforcement partners in every state in the nation, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Trade Commission, in filing a federal lawsuit ​against four phony cancer charities and their operators, who allegedly scammed more than $187 million from consumers throughout the country.  Cancer is a devastating disease that impacts millions of Americans and their families every year.  Donors that are attempting to aid those with cancer must have assurances that their dollars are spent on cures and not corrupt schemes. With our actions this week, we are permanently ending these deceptive solicitations claiming to assist children with cancer and breast cancer patients.  

    Veterans across the Commonwealth who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom will be honored and remembered on Memorial Day.  As we remember those brave men and women that have lost their lives protecting our freedoms, I want to recognize and thank all the past and present members of our armed services for their patriotism, devotion and sacrifices.  I will be attending a Memorial Day Service honoring these national heroes at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville on Monday.   I also want to remind our veterans that we care about you.  We have several resources available to veterans and current service members available on our website, www.ag.ky.gov 

    Finally, I want to wish a Happy Anniversary to my lovely wife, Elizabeth.  She is an amazing wife and mother.  Nine years ago this week we began our journey together.  Elizabeth’s commitment to our family and to all of Kentucky, especially our two children and children throughout our Commonwealth, is sincere and greatly appreciated. 

  • May 15

    ​I took a bold step earlier this week in the fight for fair gas prices in Kentucky.  For almost two decades, Marathon has been allowed to run rampant in Kentucky.  After many years of trying to get multiple federal agencies to intervene, I have grown tired of waiting for the federal government to do its job and act on this case.  I am doing my job as Attorney General of Kentucky by filing this lawsuit against Marathon Petroleum​.  We are standing up for Kentucky consumers and proceeding with our own antitrust case against Marathon.

    Marathon owns and operates the only refinery in Kentucky, and it maintains its wholesale monopoly by making retailers and other potential suppliers enter into contracts that are outright anti-competitive.  This conducts harms everyone who buys gas in Kentucky.  An investigation by my Office has led to allegations that Marathon discourages competition by requiring independent retailers to sign unlawful supply agreements that eliminate wholesale competition, by forming exchange agreements with horizontal competitors that keep other suppliers from entering the Kentucky market, and by writing deed restrictions into the sales agreements of some properties sold by Marathon.  My Office’s investigation also found that some supply agreements Marathon enters into with retailers require retailers to purchase 100 percent of their RFG from Marathon, with penalties if the retailers fail to do so.  The agreements also prohibit unbranded retailers from challenging Marathon’s pricing. 

    I enjoyed attending the Shaping our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Strategy Summit earlier this week in Eastern, Ky.  The Appalachian region in Eastern Kentucky needs our help.  I applaud Governor Beshear and Senator Hal Rogers for crossing party lines and founding this network of productivity and innovation to address the most pressing problems in this region.   This collaboration of community leaders offers a blueprint for future statewide initiatives that put people before politics.  I agree with Governor Beshear’s statement at the first SOAR press conference in 2013, “We know that government alone cannot solve these problems and we believe that to make real progress in Eastern Kentucky, we need the input, collaboration and involvement of the people who live and work hard there every day.”  The SOAR program proves that fostering innovation and cooperation will lead to real achievement and growth.  
     
    Finally, as voters prepare to head to the polls Tuesday May 19, I want to remind Kentuckians that they can help my Office combat vote fraud by utilizing our Election Fraud Hotline.  Our hotline is an important tool in the fight to ensure honest and fair elections for all Kentuckians.  I want to encourage voters to be our eyes and ears in the polling places and report any election irregularities.  Kentuckians who witness election irregularities or possible election law violations are encouraged to call the Election Fraud Hotline at 800-328-VOTE (800-328-8683).

  • May 8

    I applaud Gov. Steve Beshear and Rep. Hal Rogers for the bipartisan effort that resulted in the creation of the Shaping our Appalachian Region (SOAR) program in 2013.  The SOAR program​ was created to establish a network of productivity and innovation to address the most pressing problems in East Kentucky.  I will be attending the SOAR Strategy Summit in Pikeville on Monday, May 11, to support SOAR in its mission of expanding job creation, enhancing regional opportunity, innovation, and identity, and improving quality of life.

    I agree with Governor Beshear’s statement at the first SOAR press conference in 2013, “Eastern Kentucky is a brilliant, storied region that enriches the fabric of our Commonwealth, yet for several decades, the region has seen a decline in growth and development, hampered by a lack of infrastructure and other resources that communities need to grow and thrive.  We know that government alone cannot solve these problems and we believe that to make real progress in Eastern Kentucky, we need the input, collaboration and involvement of the people who live and work hard there every day.”

    Several working groups have been tasked with innovation and growth for this region and are led by prominent business and community leaders.  These target SOAR groups include agriculture, community and regional foods, natural resources, broadband, business incubation, business recruitment, education and retraining, health, infrastructure, leadership development and youth engagement, regional collaboration and identity, tourism and arts & heritage.   This collaboration of community leaders offers a blueprint for future statewide initiatives that put people before politics.  The SOAR program proves that fostering innovation and cooperation will lead to real achievement and growth.    

    Big news is coming next week regarding our investigation into gas prices in Kentucky.  I believe Marathon Oil has a lock on the wholesale market in Kentucky, which leads to gas prices being higher in our state than other states in the region.  I have twice asked the Federal Trade Commission and I have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to take action. I am tired of waiting on the federal government to take action.  Stay tuned next week for a major announcement that will affect hundreds of thousands of people across the Commonwealth.

    Finally, I’m looking forward to enjoying Mother’s Day with two important women in my life - my wife, Elizabeth and my mother, Barbara.  I cannot thank them enough for their endless love and support.  I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy the company of your loved ones this weekend as well.  Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers and grandmothers in our great Commonwealth of Kentucky.

  • May 1

    Jack Stable 2015

    All eyes will be on Kentucky this weekend for the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. This time of year is always a special one for me, and spending time on the backside at Churchill Downs earlier this week reminded me of how wonderful it is to be a Kentuckian. I had the opportunity to catch up with many of the Louisville TV and radio stations covering Dawn at the Downs and share with them the latest news from the Office of the Attorney General. I also enjoyed visiting with radio stations from across Kentucky as part of the AT&T Morning Line event at the Derby Museum. Photos from both events are available on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

    This year, my top pick for Derby is Kentucky bred American Pharoah. Three-time Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert is no stranger to the big stage and I think he can rekindle the Derby winning magic he had in 1997, 1998 and 2002 with Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem. American Pharoah has won his last four races. He drew the 18th post position. Gato Del Sol in 1982 is the only horse to win from the 18th post position but it has been done. I also think Victor Espinoza is an excellent jockey. Not only did he win last year's Derby, but he joined forces with Bob Baffert in 2002 winning the Derby on War Emblem who went off at 21 to one odds.

    Elizabeth and I are looking forward to enjoying the beautiful weather on Derby Day with family and friends. Whether you head to Churchill Downs or watch the race on television, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

  • April 24th

    Thanks to the hard work of my investigators, Franklin County Sherriff’s Pat Melton and multiple other law enforcement branches in Kentucky, we were able to crack the Pappy Van Winkle theft case and recover more than $100,000 worth of Wild Turkey and Eagle Rare barrels, plus bottles of rare Pappy Van Winkle .  Tuesday, a Franklin County grand jury indicted nine members of an alleged criminal syndicate that collaborated to promote or engage in the theft and illegal trafficking of liquor from two different Kentucky distilleries - Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey.    
     
    Yesterday, I issued a Consumer Alert reminder for all Kentuckians that may be owed restitution from Sirius XM.  May 3rd is the deadline to file a complaint for restitution.  My office helped secure a multi-state settlement of $3.8 million..  Companies that utilize deceptive and unfair business practices to take advantage of consumers and violate Kentucky’s consumer protection laws will be held accountable. I am pleased that we have reached this agreement requiring Sirius XM Radio to make significant changes to its business practices and return money that is rightfully owed to consumers. I encourage all Kentucky consumers who are eligible for a refund to submit a claim through the restitution​.

    I am looking forward to attending many Derby events next week.  I will be visiting with radio stations from across the state at the Kentucky Derby Festival AT&T Morning Line at the Derby Museum Monday morning.  I will also be visiting with the Louisville television morning shows and getting an early look at the horses at Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning.  The early weather forecast is excellent for Oaks and Derby, and I encourage all Kentuckians to enjoy this time of year where the entire world focuses on our state and celebrates the greatest two minutes in sports.    

  • April 17

    I was proud this week to announce more arrests and prescription pill seizures by my drug task force in Floyd County, KY.   I launched Kentucky’s first and only statewide prescription drug abuse prevention task force in August 2009.  The task force has been involved in more than 450 prescription drug diversion investigations, including Operation Flamingo Road, the state’s largest prescription drug bust that resulted in the arrest of more than 500 people. 

    Yesterday, we continued the fight against EPA regulations that adversely affect Kentuckians and the coal industry.  I wish to commend West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for standing before the United States Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia and explaining why the EPA's proposed regulations governing coal-fired power plants are illegal.  General Morrisey stated the position of Kentucky and other states fighting this battle.

    Today officially kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville.  I am looking forward to attending many Derby Festival events with my family, visiting Churchill Downs, and enjoying all the excitement over the next two weeks in Louisville.  These two weeks give all Kentuckians a chance to show the rest of the country why the Derby Festival involves two of the greatest weeks in hospitality and entertainment, which culminates in the most exciting two minutes in sports.  Let’s hope for dry weather and a safe and memorable two weeks.

  • April 10

    I appreciate the hard work of my Office and the General Assembly that culminated in the much needed signing of the Dating Violence House Bill 8 by Governor Beshear on Thursday.  For many years, I've championed legislation that would extend domestic violence protections to women and men in dating relationships. In fact, Kentucky was one of the only states not to extend those protections to non-married couples.  We are a better state for now having this measure in place. Our people are safer, and hopefully this legislation will save lives and help end the cycle of domestic violence

    April is Alcohol Responsibility Month.  It is important to remember that the most significant role model for youth is parents – research has shown that parents are the most important influence on their kid’s decision to drink or not to drink alcohol. With underage drinking down 19%, and conversations up 62% in the last nine years, we hope this PSA will help encourage more parents in Kentucky to open up the lines of communication with their kids about alcohol responsibility. 

    Earlier today, Former State Representative Forrest “Ben” Waide pled guilty​ and was sentenced for violating campaign finance laws.  His convictions relate to his 2010 campaign for state representative in Madisonville, KY.  Waide illegally accepted campaign contributions from Liberty Rehabilitation, PSC, a company in Madisonville where he was a partner.  Waide also used campaign funds for illegal expenditures. Waide sought personal reimbursements for campaign advertising expenses that were either nonexistent or paid for by Liberty Rehabilitation.  I appreciate the hard work of my Department of Criminal Investigations and my Office of Special Prosecutions for holding public officials accountable for violating campaign finance laws. These laws are in place to protect the voters in Kentucky from illegal and mismanaged elections and to ensure that there is accounting transparency in the record keeping of campaign finances and contributions.

    I was excited to follow both the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals as they both made memorable runs in the recent NCAA tournament.  I know both programs will reload for next year and continue this modern golden age of Bluegrass Basketball.  Six final fours in the last five years for the Wildcats and the Cardinals is an amazing combined accomplishment.  Best of luck to Willie, Karl, Dakari, Aaron, Andrew, Devin, Trey, Montrezl, Terry and Wayne as they pursue their dreams of playing professional basketball.  Thank you all for the memories and you will not be soon forgotten.​

  • April 3

    I was honored to join Gov. Beshear on Wednesday at a bill signing for HB 512, which protects Kentucky's tobacco payments moving forward.  I was able to secure past disputed payments through a settlement and recover more than $100 million for state agricultural programs, cancer research and early childhood education. This bill ensures Kentucky won't have to deal with disputed payments in the future. Thanks to my staff, Gov. Beshear, Roger Thomas, Rep. Rand and Sen. Hornback for helping make this bill the law in Kentucky.  

    Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payments support Kentucky’s agricultural diversification programs, and provide critical health care and early childhood development services for all Kentuckians.  Gov. Besehar stated “The citizens of the Commonwealth have benefited greatly from the $1.75 billion in annual MSA payments support Kentucky’s agricultural diversification programs, and provide critical health care and early childhood development services for all Kentuckians.  Those funds have played an important role in advancing Kentucky agriculture through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF).  Attorney General Jack Conway’s settlement and this important legislation help preserve and protect funding for these investments in the future.” 

    Last year, I secured a settlement in the case in which manufacturers were challenging Kentucky’s past enforcement of the MSA.  I was able to ensure we received $110.4 million in disputed payments and netted an additional $67.9 million for the Commonwealth. The health and education programs funded by the MSA are vital to our state and our communities.  I appreciate the legislature and Gov. Beshear acting to provide additional enforcement provisions that will ensure Kentucky’s payments for perpetuity.  
    My monthly Newsletter “Kentucky General News” recapping Office accomplishments for March 2015 was published yesterday and is available to view.

    I am excited to join the Kentucky Wildcats in Indianapolis as they try to complete their undefeated run into the record books.  I will be cheering for the Wildcats and to show my support I have entered into a friendly wager with Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel over the outcome of Saturday night’s National Championship Semi-final game in Indianapolis between the undefeated and number one ranked University of Kentucky (UK) Wildcats and the number one seed and Big Ten Champion Wisconsin Badgers.  If UK wins, Attorney General Schimel will provide an assortment of Sargento Cheeses, Johnsonville Brats and Leinenkugels Beer.  If West Virginia wins, I will give Schimel a Meacham’s country ham from Union County, where my father was born and raised. Bluegrass basketball is alive and well!   

  • March 27

    This week marked the passage of landmark life-saving legislation. As time was running out on the 2015 legislative session, the elected officials of the General Assembly put aside politics and put the health and safety of the citizens of the Commonwealth in the forefront. This law will save lives and I applaud the teamwork in passing a strong heroin bill amid threats of overreaching compromise due to political loyalties and time constraints.cPassage of this bill has been my top priority this legislative session. This bill, signed into immediate law by Governor Steve Beshear, includes provisions that are important to law enforcement and me - increasing penalties for large volume traffickers, expanding access to treatment, and getting heroin overdose reversal kits into the hands of our first responders. I'm proud of leaders on both sides of the aisle for putting people over politics in trying to address the resurgence of heroin in Kentucky.

    Earlier this week, First Lady Jane Beshear and I were proud to deliver on a promise to help all Kentuckians, regardless of socio-economic and insurance obstacles, obtain life-saving Narcan heroin overdose kits where they are needed most. Assisted by doctors and hospital administrators on Tuesday and Thursday, we introduced this Narcan kit distribution program at the University of Louisville Hospital and University of Kentucky Hospital. Overdose patients will receive a kit free of charge when they leave the hospital, so they or a loved one can prevent another overdose event and possibly save a life.

    “Unfortunately we see the tragic circumstances and consequences of heroin and opiate abuse on an almost daily basis in our emergency departments,” said Dr. Roger Humphries, chair of Emergency Medicine at UK HealthCare. “To give patients and family members the ability to rapidly administer a safe and potentially life-saving treatment will make a significant difference for some of our patients, and it will save lives.”

    In 2013, 230 Kentuckians died from heroin overdoses. The final numbers for 2014 are not currently available, but officials do expect substantial increase in the number of heroin overdose fatalities. That alarming trend has risen sharply in the last five years and my Office has committed numerous resources toward reversing that trend and saving lives.

    The passage of the Dating Violence Bill was a major accomplishment as my Office has championed legislation that would extend domestic violence protections to women and men in dating relationships. In fact, Kentucky was one of the only states not to extend those protections to non-married couples. That ended this week with the progressive passage of this bill. We are a better state for now having this measure in place. Our people are safer, and hopefully this legislation will save lives and help end the cycle of domestic violence.

    I would also like to congratulate the Kentucky Wildcats for defeating West Virginia last night and continuing their quest for an undefeated season. I wish the Louisville Cardinals good luck as they battle the N.C. State Wolfpack later tonight in Syracuse and hope they join the Wildcats in the Elite Eight.​​

  • March 20

    As Kentuckians enjoy the first day of spring, I would like to commend the men and women that fight tirelessly to protect and heal victims of crime. Earlier this week in Louisville, my Office of Victims Advocacy hosted more than 200 victim service providers, advocates, social workers, prosecutors and law enforcement from across Kentucky at the Victims’ Assistance Conference. In my opening remarks, I stressed the commitment my investigators, prosecutors and victim advocates have to ensuring safety and justice for victims of crime. The conference, titled “Engaging Communities – Empowering Victims”, had a special focus on child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence. This training enables victim advocates across the state to coordinate services with other community agencies in the hope of stopping the cycle of violence.

    Following the discovery of a new scam​ targeting Kentucky seniors, my office in conjunction with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department and Independent Living, warned seniors of fraudulent phone calls offering complimentary Life Alert systems paid for by the state. Scam artists are claiming to be affiliated with a fictitious state agency they are calling “Division of Aging”. The Department of Aging and Independent Living is not involved nor would they call seniors at home to request personal information. I encourage seniors and their families to contact my Office of Consumer Protection at 1-888-432-9257 to expose this cowardly scam.

    I would also like to congratulate the Kentucky Wildcats on defeating Hampton last night and continuing their quest for an undefeated season. I wish the Louisville Cardinals good luck as they battle the UC-Irvine Anteaters later today in Seattle.

  • March 13

    It's tax time in Kentucky, and that means people all over the Commonwealth are filing their paperwork with the IRS. But beware - scammers are calling and telling consumers that they owe back taxes to the IRS and need to remit the money immediately over the phone or they will be arrested. I want to remind Kentuckians that the IRS won't call out of the blue to ask for payment, won't demand a specific form of payment, and won't call or leave a message threatening to sue or arrest you if you don't pay right away. Have you gotten a bogus IRS call like this? If you did, please contact the FTC. Include the phone number it came from, along with any details you have.

    We are in the process of judging the college scholarship applications we've received. The scholarships​ are given each year to one male and one female high school senior who've been affected by prescription drug abuse. The scholarships are given in memory of Sarah Shay and Michael Donta, two young people who lost their lives to prescription drug abuse. Their parents, who travel across the Commonwealth with me to educate students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, provided the seed money for the scholarships. I want to remind everyone that you can support the scholarship program by making a tax-deductible donation.

    And I'm looking forward to welcoming attendees to our annual Victim Assistants Conference in Louisville on Monday. This year we'll be focusing our efforts on coordinating services between victim advocates, law enforcement, social services and healthcare professionals. Our goal is to help serve victims and stop the cycle of violence.

  • March 6

    It's been a busy week here in the Office of the Attorney General.

    I want to remind folks as they're preparing their taxes to join me in supporting the Child Victims Trust Fund. You can support child sexual abuse prevention programs across the Commonwealth through the Kentucky Income Tax Refund Check-Off program. Located in the "Fund Contributions" section of the Kentucky income tax form, the tax refund check-off allows you to make a tax-deductible donation to the Child Victims' Trust Fund (CVTF)​, a nonprofit program that provides local communities with funding for child sexual abuse prevention programs. These programs provide children with personal safety skills, teach adults how to keep kids safe from sexual abuse and exploitation, and educate the public on how to report suspected child abuse, which Kentucky law requires. The CVTF also helps pay for child sexual abuse medical exams at children's advocacy centers across the state.

    The consequences of abuse on a child are significant and can last a lifetime. When you fill out your state income tax inform, I encourage you to join me in designating a portion of your refund to the Child Victims' Trust Fund. With your help, we can better educate Kentuckians about child sexual abuse and continue funding the necessary programs that serve kids across our Commonwealth.

    The Kentucky Legislature is in session, and this week I strongly encouraged lawmakers to pass comprehensive legislation to address the resurgence of heroin in Kentucky. I don't care if the legislation is a House bill, a Senate bill, a Democratic bill or a Republican bill - I urged legislators to put people over politics and pass a comprehensive heroin bill that raises penalties for high-volume traffickers, increases access for law enforcement to the heroin overdose antidote and gives them the ability to administer it without fear of civil liability, expands access to treatment, and puts in place a workable Good Samaritan defense. The General Assembly must put politics aside and give law enforcement the tools they need and access to treatment for those in the grips of addiction.

    I applaud the action of the Kentucky House of Representatives for taking action this week to strengthen future enforcement of the tobacco master settlement agreement (MSA) by enhancing statutory requirements for non-participating tobacco manufacturers. The Kentucky House also acted to allocate the money my office secured for the state when we settled the Diligent Enforcement MSA dispute last year. I am glad the money will be used to support public health initiatives and our farmers – specifically funding for the University of Kentucky's Princeton Grain Crops Center of Excellence and the Soil and Water Cost Share Program.

    And finally, I enjoyed meeting with members of the Kentucky Farm Bureau in my office this week. We discussed my efforts to ensure the future of Kentucky's tobacco payments, our action against Eastern Livestock and the importance of agriculture to the future of our Commonwealth.

  • February 27

    This week I was honored to team up once again with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR), a national organization leading the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking. I joined with FAAR to tape a PSA highlighting the importance of talking with your kids about safe driving and alcohol responsibility. Stay tuned for the PSA, which will air in April during Alcohol Responsibility Month. You can learn more about FAAR here.

    Be sure to also check out this recent article from Pacific Standard magazine about our case against Purdue Pharma and our efforts to hold the company accountable for its marketing of the drug OxyContin. Our lawsuit alleges that Purdue Pharma’s aggressive and deceptive marketing tactics misled doctors and consumers, creating addicts and wreaking havoc in our Commonwealth. I look forward to the day when Purdue answers for its actions that helped fuel the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that’s taken such a toll on families and communities across Kentucky.

  • February 20

    As Kentuckians continue digging out from deep snow and dealing with dangerously cold temperatures, my office and I are putting Kentucky businesses on notice that price gouging will not be tolerated. This week I requested that Gov. Beshear sign a consumer protection executive order to implement Kentucky’s price gouging laws statewide.

    The order gives my office the authority to investigate and prosecute, where appropriate, those who sell gasoline, generators, building supplies, chain saws, hotel rooms and other necessary goods and services at an exorbitant price in a time of disaster.

    Kentuckians digging out from this storm should not be victimized again by predatory pricing. I encourage everyone to take caution during this time of emergency, keep your families safe and remember those around us who may need a helping hand.

    Anyone with information regarding possible price gouging should contact my office at 1-888-432-9257 or consumerprotection@ky.gov.

  • February 13

    When Anthem, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, announced this month that it had been the target of a sophisticated cyberattack, scammers seized the opportunity to prey on vulnerable customers through phishing scams. It didn’t take long for emails masquerading as legitimate communications from Anthem to start popping up in the inboxes of the company’s current and former members. My staff and I want you to know that these emails are bogus and should be discarded.

    Phishing schemes attempt to steal your personal and sensitive information, including passwords and credit card information. The phony emails often contain malicious software camouflaged underneath “click here” links that can also gain access to your computer and private information. Consumers who fall victim to these scams risk having their finances compromised and identities stolen.

    Keep in mind that legitimate companies will never request sensitive information via email. Don’t reply to these emails, click on links or call phone numbers provided in the message, and know that you can always verify the communication by calling the company directly.

    Anthem continues to investigate the data breach and is determining which members’ personal information was impacted by the cyberattack. In the meantime, current and former Anthem members can enroll in two years of free credit monitoring and identity protection services. I encourage members to take advantage of these services. A data breach does not automatically mean you are a victim of identity theft. However, the faster you detect identity theft, the sooner you can report and correct it.

    To learn more about the data breach, how you can sign up for protections being offered by Anthem, and how you can protect yourself from identity theft, visit the Consumer Protection section of our website here.

  • February 6

    This week I had the opportunity to visit Henry Clay High School and have an important conversation with the students there about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and heroin. I care about our kids and keeping them healthy and away from drugs are issues that I’m passionate about. Karen Shay, a mother who lost her teenage daughter to a prescription drug overdose, feels the same way.

    That’s why Karen and I travel the state speaking to middle and high school students as part of our Keep Kentucky Kids Safe drug prevention program. It’s because of Karen, and the countless other parents like her who have lost children to prescription drug abuse, that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to combat this scourge.

    I want to thank Principal Greg Quenon for allowing us to speak at his school. I also appreciate his commitment to helping educate his students about the negative effects of substance abuse. A taping of our presentation at Henry Clay High is available on our YouTube channel.

    On Wednesday, I joined the Kentucky Association of Food Banks in the Capitol Rotunda for the Rally to Solve Hunger. The rally, which was part of Food Bank Day at the Capitol, was held to raise awareness about the fight against hunger in Kentucky.

    All of us have a role to play in solving hunger in our state – government, charities, business, and individuals. My office is pleased to be doing its part by sponsoring the March Against Hunger campaign, a fundraising event involving private law firms that helps feed hungry children and families in our communities. Each year, the donations received through March Against Hunger help ease the uncertainty for struggling families and make a difference in the fight against hunger in Kentucky.

    For more information about the Kentucky Association of Food Banks, click here.

    I also had the opportunity to catch up with a great group of young professionals from Louisville and Northern Kentucky who were visiting Frankfort this week. I enjoyed speaking with them about the work we do each day in the Office of the Attorney General.

    You can read more about the latest news from my office in our monthly newsletter, Kentucky General News.

  • January 30

    When filing your tax returns this year, consider supporting child sexual abuse prevention programs across the Commonwealth through the Kentucky Income Tax Refund Check-Off program. Located in the “Fund Contributions” section of your state income tax form, the tax refund check-off allows you to donate to the Child Victims’ Trust Fund (CVTF), a nonprofit program that provides local communities with funding for child sexual abuse prevention programs.

    These critical programs provide children with personal safety skills, teach adults how to keep kids safe from sexual abuse and exploitation, and educate the public on how to report suspected child abuse, which state law requires.

    As your Attorney General, I’m proud to chair the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board, which administers the CVTF, and I have seen firsthand how the fund is making a difference in the lives of Kentucky’s most vulnerable children.

    You can learn more about the CVTF and its mission at ICareAboutKids.ky.gov.

    Next week I’m looking forward to visiting Henry Clay High School in Lexington. Karen Shay and I will be sharing our Keep Kentucky Kids Safe message with the students there, encouraging them not to become the next generation lost to prescription drug abuse.

    I’ll also be on-air Monday morning talking with my radio friends at WLGC in Ashland, WBVR in Bowling Green, and WTTL in Madisonsville. If you live near one of those areas, I hope you’ll tune in.

  • January 24

    This week my Office of Rate Intervention and I announced that we have successfully saved eastern Kentucky ratepayers $54 million in unlawful fuel costs charged by Kentucky Power Co., the result of our intervention in a utility case previously before the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC).

    In an order issued by the PSC, citing joint testimony from my office and the Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers, the Commission deemed the fuel costs unreasonable and directed Kentucky Power to refund ratepayers $13.2 million that it had already collected during the first four months of last year. The PSC also barred the company from collecting an estimated $41 million in additional fuel costs that was to be collected through the end of May 2015. Over the 17-month period, the average residential customer will save approximately $155.

    This is great news. As Attorney General, I am proud to serve as an advocate for Kentucky consumers, and at a time when every dollar saved can make a difference for so many Kentuckians, I’m pleased that we are keeping this money in the pockets of ratepayers in eastern Kentucky. Since 2008, my Office of Rate Intervention has intervened in rate cases and other utility matters resulting in more than $1.18 billion in savings for Kentucky ratepayers. You can read more about the PSC’s order here.

    Finally, our Commonwealth lost an incredible man this week in retired U.S. Senator Wendell Ford. He was my dear friend, and one of the largest influences on my professional life. Wendell Ford fought for Kentucky - its schools, its towns, its farmers, and its airports. But most of all, he fought for the people of the Commonwealth he loved so dearly. What a public servant. Elizabeth and I send our condolences to his wife, Jean, and their entire family.

  • January 16

    This week, investigators with my Cybercrimes Unit arrested two men in Kenton County for allegedly possessing child pornography. Since the creation of the Cybercrimes Unit in 2008, we’ve taken nearly 700,000 child pornographic images and videos off of the Internet. I know that our efforts are helping make the Internet a safer place for Kentucky kids, and I appreciate the work my Cybercrimes investigators do each day. You can read more about the arrests in our press release.

    On Monday, I’m looking forward to participating in the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. motorcade and rally in Louisville. For more than four decades, these events have served as an important way for us to remember Dr. King and reflect on his legacy. Dr. King always stressed and believed in nonviolence, and his courage to take a stand and move this country forward is an inspiration. If you’re attending either of the events on Monday, please stop by and say hello.

    Finally, Louisville lost one of its champions this week in Metro Council President Jim King. Jim was a family friend, a businessman who cared deeply about his community and a dedicated public servant. I was shocked and saddened to learn of his passing. Elizabeth and I are keeping his wife and family in our thoughts and prayers.

  • January 9

    Heroin is killing Kentuckians. In 2013, 230 Kentuckians died from heroin overdoses, and health and law enforcement officials expect heroin overdose fatalities from 2014 may exceed that number. The time is now to confront the reality of a growing heroin epidemic in our state.

    This week I was proud to join Gov. Beshear and First Lady Beshear in announcing that heroin overdose reversal kits will be purchased for Kentucky hospitals with the highest rates of heroin overdose deaths. We’re using funds from the $32 million my office recovered in settlements with two pharmaceutical companies to buy approximately 2,000 Naloxone rescue kits for the University of Louisville Hospital, University of Kentucky Hospital, and the St. Elizabeth Hospital system in Northern Kentucky.

    This project will allow us to get this medicine into the hands and homes of the people who need it most -- heroin users and their families. These kits will help save lives and provide a second chance for people to seek treatment for their addictions.

    To read more about this project and learn how we’re using the settlement funds for additional substance abuse treatment programs and initiatives across the Commonwealth, click here.

    I want to also remind high school seniors who have been impacted by prescription drug abuse that the deadline to apply for our college scholarship program is now less than three weeks away. The Sarah Shay and Michael Donta Memorial Scholarships for Hope and Healing were created in 2013 to help those students who have excelled in their personal and academic lives despite seeing the devastating consequences of prescription drug abuse.

    The scholarships, which are $1,500 each, will help two seniors get a fresh start and a chance at completing their college education.

    Scholarship applications can be downloaded here. The deadline to apply is January 28.

  • 2015

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