Friday, May 18, 2012The following are some of the newsworthy stories involving the Attorney General’s Office during the past week.
Skechers Alleged Misstep Costs Them $45 Million
(SANTA FE)---Attorney General Gary King’s office this week reached a settlement with shoemaker Skechers USA, Inc. over charges of deceptive advertising that will cost the company $45 million in restitution and fees.
In a multi-jurisdictional legal filing, including the Federal Trade Commission, it is alleged that Skechers made health-related claims in the marketing, packaging, advertising, offering, and selling of its line of rocker-bottom shoe products including Shape-ups, Tone-ups, and the Skechers Resistance Runner that were not adequately substantiated at the time the claims were made. Under the settlements, up to $40 million is being allocated for consumer refund money to be paid back to consumers who purchased the shoes. As part of the settlement, Skechers will also pay an additional $5 million to the states, including New Mexico.
Consumers who have complaints about unsubstantiated health or advertising claims made by Skechers should contact the Federal Trade Commission to fill out a claim form at: www.ftc.gov/skechers or call 866-325-4186
ABQ Man Admits To Manufacturing Child Porn
(ALBUQUERQUE)---AG Gary King’s office is prosecuting admitted child pornography collector Thomas Dolphus, 47, on charges including 14-counts of manufacturing (2nd degree felony) and 45-counts of possession (4th degree felony).
Dolphus admitted to manufacturing child sexual abuse files for the last ten years, was arrested by the Albuquerque Police Department, and is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Arraignment date will be announced soon.
Dolphus’ photo is on the AGO website at https://sites.google.com/a/nmag.gov/test-nmag/newsroom
Unlimited Campaign Cash Breeds Corruption
(ALBUQUERQUE)---Attorney General King is asking the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the lower Court’s ruling that negated parts of New Mexico’s Campaign Report Act by declaring unconstitutional the sections that limited campaign contributions to independent expenditure committees.
At a news conference this week, the AG said such committees' primary purpose is to influence elections. Allowing unlimited amounts of cash to flow into New Mexico invites corruption and special interest manipulation of our elections. Unlimited cash contributions to political campaigns puts out the welcome mat for “Pay to Play” scandals...New Mexico can ill afford to have any more of this type of corruption.
The Attorney General has made contribution limits and full disclosure a cornerstone of his office's focus. Not only is the sovereignty of New Mexico elections threatened with this ruling but our ability to ensure our elected offices are not for sale is jeopardized.
AG King will continue to press this issue in federal courts so that all New Mexicans can be assured that their elected officials answer solely to them. Reasonable contribution limits for independent expenditure committees is a reasonable requirement.
Out of State Man Guilty of Attempted Human Trafficking in NM
(ALBUQUERQUE)---36-year-old Jason Willer of Mill Shoals, Illinois, pled guilty this week to one count of attempted human trafficking in Bernalillo County.
Willer was arrested on November 2, 2011 followed by a grand jury indictment on February 7, 2012. The Attorney General is prosecuting the case for the Albuquerque Police Department’s Vice Unit which arrested Willer late last year.
Willers photo is on the AGO website at https://sites.google.com/a/nmag.gov/test-nmag/newsroom