Attorney General's office counters claims by New York Times

3 years 6 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, October 30 2014 Oct 30, 2014 Thursday, October 30, 2014 1:36:00 PM CDT October 30, 2014 in News
By: Lee Anne Denyer, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - The Attorney General's office released documents Thursday designed to show the New York Times misrepresented actions by Attorney General Chris Koster in two articles released this week.

The Times released the first article Tuesday. It outlined a specific series of events in which the Times claimed a lawyer from 5-Hour Energy attended an event by the Democratic Attorneys General Association in California. The article stated Koster changed his stance on investigating the product after meeting with the lawyer at the event. The article states the lawyer's firm contributed thousands of dollars in campaign gifts. The Times called the change "a clear victory for 5-Hour Energy."

Times reporter Eric Lipton wrote,"The quick reversal, confirmed by Mr. Koster and Ms. Kalani, was part of a pattern of successful lobbying of Mr. Koster by the law firm on behalf of clients like Pfizer and AT&T - and evidence of a largely hidden dynamic at work in state attorneys general offices across the country."

Lipton published a second article Wednesday stating the Missouri House of Representatives planned to investigate if financial gifts contributed to Koster impacted his handling of several consumer fraud cases.

House speaker Tim Jones released a statement following the Wednesday article saying, "The thorough investigative work of one of our nation's most prominent news outlets has exposed what appears to be an egregious violation of the public's trust perpetuated by Attorney General Koster. I am deeply disturbed by the multiple examples of apparent pay-to-play schemes uncovered by the New York Times, and am currently examining the options we have as a legislative body to further investigate these allegations and ensure that Attorney General Koster is held accountable for his actions."

Koster's office denies the claim and provided a copy of the letter sent by the Attorney General's office to the Times reporter before the articles were written. Koster's office contends the letter bolsters its claim of misrepresentation. KOMU 8 News received a copy of the letter and includes it here: Responses_to_NY_Times.pdf

The letter stated the Times inquired about four specific issues and the Attorney General's office responded to each. They include:

  • Missouri's settlement with Pfizer regarding allegations of off-label marketing of Zyvox and Lyrica by the drug company
  • Missouri's criminal prosecution of Larraine Brown, president of DocX, and Missouri's case against DocX's parent company, LPS
  • An internal policy process implemented by the AGO regarding review of multistate actions
  • Legislation filed in the Missouri General Assembly regarding regulation of online lenders.

In the letter Koster addresses these instances and specifically mentions the 5-hour energy incident described in Tuesday's article. The letter states the Attorney General did not know the office was investigating the energy drink at the time of the conference. The office wrote this "exposed a weakness" in its processes, which has been changed in response to the miscommunication.

Chief of Staff James Farnsworth sent the letter and said he hoped the responses better clarified the Times' concerns.

Koster's office also released this statement Thursday in response:

"This Attorney General's office has consistently protected Missouri consumers from fraud, regardless of the identity of those responsible.

Contrary to the inferences contained in today's New York Times article, this office reviews each case on its merits. We have taken legal action against Pfizer at least six times and have taken legal action against AT&T at least twice. Together, these cases have resulted in millions of dollars on behalf of Missouri consumers. Currently, Missouri is among the 44 states in the country that have not filed suit against 5 Hour Energy.

Today's article in the New York Times misrepresents the facts, distorting events to create an appearance of impropriety where none exists. The factual explanations provided weeks ago to the New York Times are attached."

 

 

More News

Grid
List
HARRISONVILLE (AP) — Authorities say a 12-year-old northeast Missouri boy fought off an attempted abduction by hitting the... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:53:46 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating an early morning crash on I-70 Westbound. It caused major backups... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, May 25 2018 May 25, 2018 Friday, May 25, 2018 8:47:00 AM CDT May 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - On Thursday, the Columbia Airport Advisory Board announced the TSA approved a security screening lane to open by... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:41:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- May is known for Mother’s day, Memorial Day and in Missouri, the start of tick season. “May, June... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:21:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council discussed a recent engineering study today centering on increasing traffic flow east of Columbia.... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 7:11:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is encouraging people to practice safe boating ahead of Memorial Day weekend.... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 6:55:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - After two months without a police department, New Bloomfield finally has one thanks to the city of... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 5:50:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a lawsuit filed after Athletic Director Jim... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 4:54:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in Sports
MONROE CITY - Some people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease fight back, as did Michael Crager, the founder of Rock Steady... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 4:18:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. Department of Health and Senior Services made changes to a family planning program, which the... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 3:56:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In sometimes heated testimony, members of a Special House Investigative Committee looking into the Eric Greitens... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A report on a statewide rape kit audit shows that there are at least 4,889 untested sexual... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 3:23:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - With the holiday weekend approaching, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Save Our Air Medical Resources (SOAR)... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 1:28:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – More than 36 million drivers will hit the road during Memorial Day Weekend, according to AAA. Just... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 12:20:00 PM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide program bringing together prisoners and puppies is celebrating a major milestone. A four-month-old redbone... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 10:15:00 AM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he thinks Kim Jong Un wants to do "what's right" but says it's... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 10:09:00 AM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
RANDOLPH COUNTY - A Huntsville man pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday and received a life sentence with no chance... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:37:00 AM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) through the Mid-Mo Adult Learning Center honored 25 adults at... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:10:00 AM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
12pm 82°
1pm 84°
2pm 85°
3pm 85°