Bob Ferguson at the LWV December Meeting

Posted December 15, 2021 at 5:20 am by

Sto­ry by Louise Dustrude…

Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Wash­ing­ton state attor­ney gen­er­al Bob Fer­gu­son spoke at the Decem­ber meet­ing of the League of Women Vot­ers on Mon­day about the great vari­ety of issues cur­rent­ly being con­front­ed by his office.

Speak­ing to the group on Zoom, he called his office “the largest law firm in the state,” and said they rep­re­sent every state agency. He said his office doesn’t make pol­i­cy: “We give advice, they decide.”

The office recent­ly con­front­ed elec­tion integri­ty in the case of Loren Culp, a los­ing can­di­date for gov­er­nor, who after his loss filed a series of law­suits against the state. Attor­neys have an eth­i­cal oblig­a­tion not to file friv­o­lous law­suits, and after the AG’s office chal­lenged Culp on those grounds he with­drew his suits “with prej­u­dice,” mean­ing he can nev­er file them again.

Fer­gu­son also said, “We filed a suit against the post­mas­ter gen­er­al, joined by oth­er states, for fail­ing to deliv­er our Novem­ber 2020 bal­lots in a time­ly man­ner, and we won.” It was “a huge case for elec­tion integrity.”

A cur­rent pri­or­i­ty in the office is “lit­i­ga­tion against cor­po­ra­tions that we believe fueled the opi­oid cri­sis…. Oth­er states signed on to a set­tle­ment grant­i­ng a life­time legal shield to the Sack­ler-Pur­due fam­i­ly, which we believe the judge didn’t have the author­i­ty to do,” so Wash­ing­ton is still pur­su­ing the case in court.

Fer­gu­son then said he would respond to questions:

Susan Mar­tin thanked him “for the lead­er­ship you took against the pre­vi­ous administration’s immi­gra­tion poli­cies,” and he respond­ed, “Yes, there is no Mus­lim ban, and the Dream­ers are still here…. Many of our suits are still ongo­ing; there are still dozens of cas­es…. Just recent­ly we won a case against GEO Cor­po­ra­tion which was pay­ing immi­grants in cus­tody one dol­lar a day for jan­i­to­r­i­al work while they were being held.” The cor­po­ra­tion was ordered to pay mil­lions in back pay.

In rela­tion to school vio­lence, Pati Otley asked what leg­is­la­tion relat­ing to firearms he might be sub­mit­ting to the leg­is­la­ture, and he said, “This year we’re propos­ing bans on the sale of assault weapons and high-capac­i­ty mag­a­zines…. I am con­fi­dent if these came to a vote they would pass.” — the prob­lem is get­ting the leg­is­la­ture to bring such pro­pos­als to a vote.

Gay Gra­ham asked, “What is the state of Wash­ing­ton doing for indige­nous women” (fac­ing vio­lence) “and what are you plan­ning to do?” He replied, “We’re lead­ing a task force on that,” (the Wash­ing­ton State Miss­ing and Mur­dered Indige­nous Women and Peo­ple (MMIW/P Task Force). “We can’t pass leg­is­la­tion on our own, but we can make sug­ges­tions to the leg­is­la­ture. We’re just get­ting start­ed.” He added that “there is a lot of infor­ma­tion on that on our web site.”

Super­in­ten­dent of schools Fred Wood asked what to expect regard­ing the var­i­ous Covid-relat­ed man­dates ordered by the gov­er­nor, includ­ing masks, many of which have been chal­lenged in court, and Fer­gu­son respond­ed, “Our work is to defend any state law. Since the pan­dem­ic began the gov­er­nor has issued many, many orders, and we have won every case (defend­ing them).”

Michael Mar­tin asked a ques­tion about con­sumer pro­tec­tion against ran­somware and “Do you have enough resources and legal horse­pow­er for those kinds of cas­es?” He respond­ed, “Yes. A few years ago we had only nine attor­neys in that field, but we have increased our resources sig­nif­i­cant­ly and we now have over 30 attor­neys in it. My goal is to have the largest con­sumer pro­tec­tion divi­sion in the coun­try, some fund­ed by the leg­is­la­ture and some fund­ed internally.”

You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.

Categories: Government, People

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0