Attorney General's office counters claims by New York Times

2 years 1 month 1 week ago October 30, 2014 Oct 30, 2014 Thursday, October 30 2014 Thursday, October 30, 2014 1:36:00 PM CDT 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
BOONE COUNTY - One person died in a vehicle crash on Highway 124 Saturday evening, according to Boone County Fire... More >>
20 minutes ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 11:51:04 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – More than 20 schools from Kansas City to Columbia gathered at Jefferson Middle School Saturday for the FIRST... More >>
2 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 10:09:00 PM CST in News
MARIES COUNTY - A man who stole a vehicle and allegedly wrecked it was arrested, according to the Maries County... More >>
2 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 9:51:06 PM CST in News
PLEASANT HILL - Gov. Jay Nixon announced the completion of the Katy Trail extension from Windsor to Pleasant Hill Saturday.... More >>
3 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 8:44:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — In late October, an outbreak of canine distemper forced a St. Louis animal shelter to euthanize 17 dogs.... More >>
4 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 7:31:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS - The City of Columbia did not violate residents First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by allowing a student... More >>
5 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 6:18:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis lawyer has been named chairman of the University of Missouri board of cur... More >>
8 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:45:04 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police said a man impersonating a police officer tried to pull over the wrong... More >>
10 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 1:30:00 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Southwest Missouri authorities have charged a man with raping a woman nearly a year after he was... More >>
12 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 12:05:10 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Arthritis Foundation in Missouri is set to raise $40,000. Since August, supporters have signed... More >>
12 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 12:05:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA (AP) — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said a proposed medical radioactive isotope plant in Columbia would have little... More >>
13 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 11:09:26 AM CST in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - The Holts Summit Lions Club is hosting the second annual Christmas Festival Saturday before the start of... More >>
19 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 4:42:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Overuse injuries appear to be growing increasing common in youth sports. According to a 2015 study by the... More >>
19 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 4:25:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's outgoing Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is giving clemency to 15 people convicted of drug-related crimes... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:50:05 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former director of Missouri's unemployment benefits agency has agreed to a $2 million settlement to... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:36:46 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A woman assaulted as a girl during a 1982 attack that killed her mother wants... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:27:25 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway said she's reviewing state legal payments following reports of harassment and employee... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:16:29 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will work as a private attorney at a suburban St. Louis law... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 7:58:34 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 35°
12am 35°
1am 34°
2am 33°
3am 34°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:02a
LX.TV: 1st Look
12:32a
Open House NYC
1:02a
Open House NYC
12:00a
Sophie & Sheba
2:00a
Elementary
3:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
6:00p
Throw Momma from the Train
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld