Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a Rotary Club of Oak Harbor meeting Friday. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at a Rotary Club of Oak Harbor meeting Friday. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Attorney general discusses opioids, Trump

The state’s top lawyer discussed opioids and his actions against the Trump Administration during his visit with the Rotary Club of Oak Harbor last week.

Bob Ferguson’s appearance Friday at the Oak Harbor Yacht Club marked his 155th Rotary meeting on his mission to visit every one in the state, he told Oak Harbor members.

His office is in the midst of ongoing litigation against opioid manufacturers, which he said is something most people want to hear about. What happens to the money will depend on how the case plays out. His lawsuit against Purdue Pharma has a “good chance” of going to trial, he said in an interview. If money is won in that case, a judge will decide where it should go.

If a settlement is reached, then he will decide where it will go. He’ll make sure it goes toward treatment and prevention, he said.

“I don’t want it just to go to the state general fund,” he said.

“The goal is to have money invested in communities all across the state,” he later added.

His office is also involved in a number of lawsuits against the current presidential administration, many of which are related to protecting the environment.

In June, Ferguson challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to lower Washington state’s water quality standards. The agency attempted to roll back regulations on releasing pollutants into the water.

Ferguson has won six cases against the EPA.

“They seem to have a hard time following the laws,” he said.

His office has 39 lawsuits against the administration and all 22 decisions made so far have been in his favor. Ferguson’s visit to Oak Harbor came the day after the Supreme Court rejected the administration’s reason for adding a citizenship question to the census. The state attorney general’s office was also a part of this lawsuit.

Ferguson is a Democrat, but he said his actions are not made with partisan intentions. He doesn’t choose cases based on whether or not he thinks the policies are good, he said.

“Everybody’s got to follow the law, the president’s no exception,” he said.

He said his record speaks for itself as to whether or not the actions are justified.

“What’s the criticism?” he asked. “We keep winning.”

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