Update from NC Attorney General Josh Stein

RALEIGH — This month, my office took steps to continue securing the integrity of our upcoming elections. I joined other attorneys general in expressing my concerns to Congress and outlining the actions we can take to protect elections from foreign attacks. With just a few months left before our state and local elections in November, protecting our democracy is an issue of paramount concern.

Closer to home, we also took steps to protect our environment. We filed a lawsuit against the EPA’s reinstatement of the dirty truck loophole, which damages the quality of the air we breathe and hurts North Carolina trucking companies that play by the rules. Because of our efforts, I am pleased to report that the EPA has reversed its harmful decision.

I’m also appealing the recent Duke Energy rate increase. I do not believe you should have to pay for Duke’s mismanagement of its coal ash cleanup. I am fighting to keep your rates as low as possible.

We also continue making progress addressing the opioid epidemic in our state.

Thank you for your interest in the work we do at NCDOJ to protect North Carolinians. If I can ever be of help to you, please do not hesitate to contact my office at ncdoj.gov/contact or email us at ncago@ncdoj.gov.

Josh Stein


Election Security

Attorney General Stein sent a letter to Congress urging leaders to protect the integrity of future elections by improving cybersecurity and addressing election security concerns.

Attorney General Stein joined a bipartisan coalition of 20 other attorneys general in sending the letter.

 

Dirty Truck Loophole

Attorney General Stein filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the EPA’s recent attempt to reopen the dirty truck loophole and overturn the 2016 Glider Rule. The Glider Rule helps protect our air from the excessive smog and pollution released by outdated truck engines.

As a result of the lawsuit and pushback from environmental groups, the EPA announced it would be withdrawing the dirty truck loophole. Attorney General Stein was joined by a coalition of 16 other state attorneys general in filing the lawsuit, which followed a previous letter to the EPA.

 

Duke Energy Rate Appeals

This month, Attorney General Stein filed a notice of appeal regarding the North Carolina Utilities Commission’s decision allowing Duke Energy Carolinas to pass on coal ash cleanup costs to customers. Read more here.

Attorney General Stein is also appealing the rate increase for Duke Energy Progress customers approved by the Utilities Commission earlier this year.

 

Student Borrowers

Attorney General Stein urged the U.S. Department of Education to reinstate its long-standing policy of disclosing student loan information to law enforcement agencies. Since at least 2000, the federal government has permitted routine disclosure of student loan information to state authorities. That information helps states investigate and prosecute cases related to student loans. Attorney General Stein was joined by 19 other attorneys general in sending the letter.

Attorney General Stein also contacted Dream Center Holdings, which owns the Art Institutes of Charlotte and Raleigh and South University in High Point, after the schools abruptly closed. He asked for more information on next steps for students, and also contacted the USDOE to try to ensure that these students are treated fairly.

 

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

Watch Attorney General Stein’s latest update on the work to combat the opioid crisis here.

Attorney General Stein recently delivered the keynote address at MAHEC’s Asheville conference, “Ethical Considerations in the Face of an Opioid Crisis.”

Attorney General Stein also spoke in Rocky Mount at the premiere of the documentary film, “The Cost of Living High.”

 

Military Consumer Protection

Attorney General Stein announced enforcement actions against two charities, Steps & Stages and Operation Troop Aid, for misusing donations intended for military servicemembers and veterans. The actions were announced in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission’s Operation Donate With Honor, an operation including more than 100 actions against such charities across the country.

Attorney General Stein also partnered with the FTC to release a video that includes tips on how to ensure your charitable donations are going to legitimate charities. Watch the video here.

As part of Military Consumer Protection Month, Attorney General Stein also released the 2018 Military Consumer Guide. The guide provides tips and explains legal rights to help military servicemembers and their families make informed consumer decisions.

 

Healthcare Fraud Convictions

Attorney General Stein announced that North Carolina settled with Rotech Healthcare Inc., over allegations that Rotech knowingly submitted false claims for portable oxygen contents to Medicaid and Medicare.

The settlement was joined by 22 other states and the federal government, and totals $9.95 million. North Carolina will receive $43,671.23 of the settlement amount.

Attorney General Stein also announced a $33.2 million settlement with medical device maker Alere after an investigation determined that Alere had knowingly sold faulty testing equipment to hospitals. North Carolina will receive $459,033.22 of the settlement amount.

 

Winston-Salem Visit

Attorney General Stein visited Salem College this month to speak about criminal justice issues to rising high school seniors studying at North Carolina Governor’s School West.

 

Consumer Alerts

Every month, NCDOJ releases alerts to inform consumers about new or troubling scams. Read more about these scam alerts by clicking on the link below: