Local News Uncategorized

Attorney General Jack Conway Requests More Information From Zappos

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is joining nine other state attorneys general in requesting information from the online retailer Zappos regarding a recent data breach.

Last week, Zappos was hacked. Millions of customers’ names, addresses and partial credit card numbers were released.

Conway, a longtime supporter of increased cyber security, says the attorneys general are looking to better understand the details of the breach and the company’s response and followup

“Well, the over-arching goal of requesting the information is to make certain that the law enforcement agencies in their respective states have asked Zappos to fully delineate and explain what was breached,” he says. “I’m glad Zappos is here. I want them to stay here, I want them to continue to be a good corporate citizen. It’s just when the personal information of their customers is compromised inappropriately, we need to step forward and understand exactly what happened on behalf of those customers who reside in our respective states.”

The breach affected more than 24 million customers.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen sent a letter to the CEO of Zappos asking that the information be provided by Friday.

Local News Politics

Live Blog From Frankfort: 7:00 Hour

Democratic supporters are making their way into the Kentucky Convention Center in Frankfort, with the band “The Torque” setting a celebratory mood as counting begins in Eastern Kentucky.

Attorney General Jack Conway was among the first of the Democratic candidates to arrive at the convention center. Conway says he’s confident in today’s vote, but says Democrats must wait for the final poll numbers to celebrate.

He says he’s focused on being the state’s attorney general and tries not to get mixed up in Washington politics.

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Election Day Looms. Who’s Doing What? State of the News [Audio]

The general election is just over a week away, and the big news this week was that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani came to town to campaign for Attorney General candidate Todd P’Pool, saying the race has national implications for health care and energy policy. Friday on State of the News, we talked with cn|2’s Kenny Colston and our own Phillip M. Bailey about the visit, and other election news and analysis.

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UK Gets Grant to Study Economic Development in Eastern KY, White House Praises KY Sentencing Reforms, Conway Releases TV Ads in Attorney General Race, Future Uncertain for Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs: Afternoon Review

Local News Uncategorized

Passport Health Plan is Reimbursed for Misappropriation of Funds

Members of Passport Health Plan will pay back $26.4 million dollars that the Medicaid provider misappropriated.

When Passport’s surplus grew to around $90 million dollars, it tried to hand money back to Norton Hospital, Jewish and St. Mary’s Inc., University Medical Center and University Physicians Associates.

Passport executives did this to try to lower their balance sheet and negotiate more Medicaid money from the state, said Attorney General Jack Conway.

But the money wasn’t used for Medicaid purposes, he said.

“The minutes of the board meetings reflect very little, very little questioning of whether or not this was illegal,” said Conway. “Apparently they relied on opinion of outside council that they could do this. But the law in Kentucky is pretty clear that non-profits can’t disperse dividends to their members.”

The payments were among several contentious points in a scathing report from the state auditor’s office that preceded a number of changes at Passport.

The attorney general’s office made several recommendations for the provider as well, such as suggesting independent board members be appointed. Passport says six will join in the fall.

Some of the healthcare providers like Norton Healthcare plan on paying its bill immediately. University Medical Center will make payments over five years.

Local News Politics

In-Depth: Despite Investigations and Complaints, For-Profit Colleges Have Supporters in Frankfort

Complaints about for-profit colleges in Kentucky continue to raise eyebrows in Frankfort. But the schools also have many legislative defenders.

Currently there are 141 for-profit colleges in Kentucky, which are seeing significant growth. National enrollment in proprietary colleges is nearing two million students, compared to a half-million in 1998. The schools cater mostly to students seeking employment skills. But complaints about for-profits are on the rise, especially concerning high student loan default rates, credits that don’t transfer and unrealistic employment promises.

Local News Politics

AG’s Office Rules Form Letters Cannot Delay Open Records

Form letters are not the proper way to delay a response to an Open Records request in Kentucky. That’s the legal opinion of the attorney general’s office.

On April 4th, Thomas Clifford sought medical records relating to himself from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in Frankfort. The cabinet had three days to respond, but instead used a form letter to inform Clifford it would need more time because he had failed to submit a specific form required to obtain medical records.

Clifford appealed to the attorney general’s office, which agrees Clifford must submit the proper form.

But Attorney General Jack Conway is also chastising the cabinet for its continuing use of form letters to get around the three-day Open Records response rule. Conway says he doesn’t have the power to compel the cabinet to cease the practice, but the courts do “and in the face of a pattern of non-compliance, may well elect to do so.”

Any party aggrieved by the decision may appeal to circuit court.

Local News Politics

Judge Rules for Marathon in Gouging Case

A Frankfort judge, in a price gouging case against Marathon Petroleum, has refused to force the oil company to roll back gas prices in Kentucky.

In the wake of April flooding, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway accused Marathon Petroleum of price gouging during a State of Emergency declared on April 26th.

Conway wanted Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate to order Marathon to roll back gas prices to pre-emergency levels, but Wingate has refused to do so.

In a 10-page order, Wingate says Conway failed to prove Marathon’s price increases were unrelated to any increased cost to the seller, despite the oil giant’s admitted use of the spot market to set those prices.

Although the request for injunctive relief is denied, the original price gouging case against Marathon, initiated in 2007 in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, continues.

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Nothing Resolved In Marathon Price Gouging Lawsuit

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and attorneys for Marathon Oil faced off in Franklin Circuit Court this morning.  Conway accuses Marathon of gasoline price gouging during a state of emergency.

Attorney Sheryl Snyder, who represents Marathon, says the case appears to have more to do with price control than price gouging.  “They’re not even alleging that their claim for relief has anything to do with the flooding, or anything to do with the emergency.  They’ve predicated their claim totally on the argument that we’re following the spot market.”

Nothing was resolved at a hearing on Kentucky’s price gouging allegation against Marathon Oil.  Judicial and expert witness conflicts required the matter to be moved to Thursday.  Attorney Sheryl Snyder, who represents Marathon, says there’s no need for a restraining order on gas prices anyway.

“There is no emergency here.  Their expert witness’ affidavit stops at Wednesday.” Snyder says “The prices already started falling on Thursday and today the prices are below the prices they want us to impose.  So, if you granted their order, you would actually be increasing our prices.”

Local News Politics

Conway Asks Floridians to Support Prescription Tracking Program

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has asked Floridians to take a stand against a proposal by that state’s governor.

Conway is among the several state and federal officials who have asked Governor Rick Scott to let a prescription tracking program take effect in Florida. The program is meant to fight the so-called pill mills that illegally distribute prescriptions, many of which are abused in Kentucky. Scott has proposed cutting the program due to privacy concerns.

A letter from Conway appeared in Friday’s Sun Sentinel newspaper. It asks readers to lobby their state lawmakers to keep the program. The letter comes days after Scott announced plans to use federal grant funds from the new healthcare law to create a task force to fight prescription abuse.