AG hopeful would take 'hard look' at Stumbo's signature suits

John O'Brien Oct. 10, 2007, 4:22pm



LEXINGTON, Ky. - With the general election a month away, Kentucky's Attorney General candidates talked business regulation at a debate Monday.

Calling Democratic opponent Jack Conway an "ultraliberal," Republican Stan Lee said he would revisit current Attorney General Greg Stumbo's decisions to sue two large companies.

"I'm not going to be the type of attorney general who is going to use the attorney general's office to go after business and just put so many scalps on the wall," Lee said, according to a report by The Associated Press. "I understand that business needs to have a free rein in society. They need to be able to function without being over-regulated."

Stumbo is leaving his post, having taken a failed run at Lieutenant Governor this year. He's currently mulling a run for the U.S. Senate next year.

But before he left, he filed the first state-backed price-gouging lawsuit against a major oil refinery, suing Marathon Oil for $86 million. In return, Marathon Oil sued the Commonwealth, claiming the price-gouging laws under which Stumbo brought his suit were unconstitutionally vague.

The suit was recently remanded to state court, where Stumbo had filed it.

Last week, Stumbo filed suit against Purdue Pharma. He says the company harmed the Commonwealth by misrepresenting the addiction capabilities of its prescription painkiller OxyContin.

Lee said he would "take a hard look" at the suits if elected, the report says. Conway would be more inclined to continue the suits.

"In the office of the attorney general, you need a consumer advocate," Conway said, according to the report.

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