In 2014, questions were raised about the appearance of conflicts of interest in attorney general offices around the nation. A Republican led investigation found no evidence Chris Koster engaged in foul play or provided special treatment. Still, Republicans are trying to muddy established facts. The truth is, Attorney General Koster’s office always let the facts dictate the direction of his office’s investigations. To remove even the appearance of a conflict, the Attorney General decided to impose the strictest ethics policy of any attorney general’s office in the nation.
FACT: Chris Koster testified in front of a Republican chaired House Ethics Committee in response to these questions. He was cleared of any wrongdoing and Republicans agreed with Chris’s actions in the lawsuits.
State Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, said he accepted Koster’s explanation on ‘face value.'” [St. Louis Business Journal, 12/9/14]
Barnes said the committee agreed with Koster’s decision not to pursue the 5-Hour Energy case.” [Columbia Missourian, 12/8/14]
I Know Chris Koster Better Than Most, And He Is Methodical, Detail-Oriented, And Judicious In The Decisions He Makes. The Article Doesn’t Portray A Guy I Know.” — Rep. Chris Molendorp, (R-Cass) [The Missouri Times, 11/3/14]
FACT: Under Chris Koster’s leadership, the Attorney General’s Office has won back over $600 million for the people of Missouri, including several major settlements from Pfizer and AT&T. He lets the law decide whether to move forward with the case.
Koster won “The Largest Nationwide Medicaid Fraud Settlement In History Resulted In Pfizer Paying The State $22 Million.” [AP, 12/31/09]
Koster reached a settlement with Pfizer for over $100,000 after “Allegations that the company engaged in illegal off-label marketing schemes to promote the sales of its urology drug Detrol for uses that were not approved by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA).” [AGO, 10/21/11]
Koster announced $1.5 Million from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a subsidiary of Pfizer. [AGO Press Release, 7/31/13]
Koster helped reach a $105 Million Dollar settlement With AT&T For “Cramming Violations” – Missouri received $314,715. [AGO Press Release, 10/8/14]
FACT: In the case of 5 Hour Energy, very few states chose to go through with the class action lawsuit. Similar suits were either trimmed or thrown out completely. Attorney General Koster saved taxpayer dollars from being wasted on a misguided and frivolous case.
Only four states went through with a suit against 5 Hour Energy: Washington, Hawaii, Vermont And Oregon. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 1/31/15]
5-Hour Energy Class Action MDL Trimmed.” [Top Class Actions, 9/9/14]
U.S. District Court Judge Philip S. Gutierrez dismissed the lead plaintiffs’ claims” [Top Class Actions, 9/9/14]
Collapse Of 5-Hour Energy Case Reveals The Secrets Of Class Action Lawyers.” [Forbes, 11/7/15]
Rubinstein warned that if 5-Hour refused, he would file similar lawsuits in other states to run up the costs” [Forbes, 11/7/15]
FACT: Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, Koster self-imposed the strongest ethics policy in the nation on his office and campaign. Since instituting the policy, his office has refused or returned over $100,000.
Koster’s new policies “substantially raise the bar for ethics in our state. I hope other elected leaders will follow Koster’s example and adopt conflict-of-interest policies that increase confidence in our state’s political system.” — Mike Wolff, Dean of St. Louis University School of Law, Former Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court [KMWU, 11/19/14]
“By limiting campaign contributions from attorneys, clients, and lobbyists, these new rules positively address the appearance of governmental conflict-of-interest.” — R. Lawrence Dessem, Professor of Ethics at the University of Missouri School of Law [KMWU, 11/19/14]
“These New Restrictions Are The Strictest Conflict-Of-Interest Provisions Of Any Elected Attorney General In The United States. Transparency Is The Best Way To Erase Any Potential Perception Of A Conflict.” — Chris Koster [Think Progress, 11/20/14]
Koster returned over $100,000 since the new policy was put in place.
[Missouri Ethics Committee, Accessed 3/2/16]