Chris Koster

Missouri Attorney General's office

Koster wants U.S. Supreme Court to reject individual health insurance mandate

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an individual health insurance mandate but uphold other parts of the federal health care law. Koster, a Democrat, said Tuesday his office filed a written argument in support of a lawsuit by Florida and other states.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Troubled Missouri home owners can expect a degree of relief from a national mortgage settlement that has been reached with five of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.

The Show-Me State is being awarded more than $196 million of a $25 billion settlement with banks -- including Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase -- over allegations of lending abuses and improper foreclosure procedures.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the settlement does not close the door on possible criminal charges against mortgage lenders.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. to make grammatical corrections and include information about transfer of money.

After flirting with a U.S. Senate bid before announcing his candidacy to replace Todd Akin in the U.S. House, Ed Martin has switched races once again.

Martin, the chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt, announced the switch earlier today on a revamped website. His announcement calls Democrat Chris Koster, the incumbent,  "President Obama's lawyer, not the people's Attorney General."

(via St. Louis County Police Department)

Girl returned to mom soon after abduction

A St. Louis County woman is facing child kidnapping charges after allegedly abducting a 5-year-old girl.

Police say the abduction happened Monday afternoon when 25-year-old Ashley White of Pine Lawn took the child from a baby sitter's home in Jennings.

White is an acquaintance of the mother. The mother told police that White had asked for money prior to the abduction.

St. Louis County police quickly found White and the child at White's home. The child was unharmed.

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

Missouri will receive nearly $14 million, as part of a settlement of a multi-state lawsuit against drug manufacturer Merck.

The lawsuit centers on the prescription drug Vioxx, which the company marketed as a painkiller for people diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Merck has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for promoting the drug before receiving FDA approval, and it will pay $950 million in criminal and civil penalties.  The company halted sales of Vioxx in 2004 after evidence showed the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke.

(via Facebook)

One person in custody in connection to 1-year-old Tyler Dasher's murder

St. Louis County police detectives have taken one person into custody in connection to the death of 1-year-old Tyler Dasher. The death has been ruled a homicide. St. Louis County spokesman Rick Eckhard says the person has not yet been formally booked or processed.

(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) wants Missouri lawmakers to beef up state law regarding child sexual abuse, in light of the scandal currently surrounding Penn State University.

Koster says right now in Missouri, only teachers, doctors, clergy and certain other professions are required to report child sex abuse to the authorities.

(via Flickr/David_Shane)

The Supreme Court of Missouri has rejected a constitutional challenge to a 2010 law that put strict limits on the way businesses like strip clubs and adult bookstores can operate in the state.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 10:43 a.m. Oct. 13 with corrected location of hearings

A judicial panel charged with redrawing Missouri’s State House and Senate districts will begin taking comments from the public tomorrow.

The six-judge panel will draw new maps because two panels made up of Democrats and Republicans failed to reach agreements on them before the August deadline.

(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

The Missouri attorney general's office contends a lawsuit challenging new congressional districts should be dismissed.

Some Democrats filed a lawsuit last month challenging the new districts. They argue the districts are not compact and contiguous, deny equal rights and reflect the use of government power to benefit a few instead of preserving the general welfare.

File photo

The growing chorus of voices complaining about the fate of a half-built plant in Moberly, Missouri, is getting louder.

Today, Missouri's Attorney General chimed in, saying that his office would investigate whether the Mamtek USA project violated any state civil or criminal laws.

Chris Koster
(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

Koster announces re-election bid

Missouri Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster is running for a second term. Koster's campaign said today that he had announced his re-election bid at the home of the Jackson County Democratic Party chairman.

Koster says under his leadership the attorney general's office helped prosecute crime, tackled fraud and tried to prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from breaching a Mississippi River levee in southeastern Missouri.

No Republican candidate has announced plans yet to run for attorney general next year.

(via Flickr/bloomsberries)

Edited 9:45 p.m. Sunday to correct spelling of mother's name in second paragraph

After 15 years, the murder of Norma Helmig is again an open case.

Osage Co. prosecutor Amanda Grellner released a statement over the weekend saying that she was dropping murder charges against Norma's son Dale, who was convicted of her death in 1996 and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The paperwork will be filed Monday.

(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is filing suit over two alleged fundraising scams involving the Joplin tornado.

Koster said Thursday that his lawsuits will target a Puerto Rico-based group called the Alivio Foundation and Georgia resident Steve Blood, who runs an Internet radio business.

The attorney general says Alivio Foundation solicited donations for Joplin tornado victims by claiming the money would go to a Catholic church and charity. But he says the Catholic entities have never heard of the foundation nor received any money.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Seventy-three dogs rescued from a breeder in southwest Missouri today are now in the care of the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis. The dogs are the first seized under Missouri's new Canine Cruelty Prevention Act.

Attorney General Chris Koster filed suit against the kennel, owned by Linda Brisco, in June. He calls it a good first step toward changing Missouri's reputation as the "puppy mill capital" of the country.

Koster says the new law, a compromise on the voter initiative known as Proposition B, gives his office more tools to help the dogs.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Whether or not Dale Helmig should be set free has been an ongoing point of legal debate since 2005, when his 1996 conviction for murdering his mother was thrown out.

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

The state of Missouri will receive nearly $1 million from a nationwide settlement over poorly manufactured drugs.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Chris Koster says the state will return the money to a fund that funds consumer protections lawsuits.


 The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit against a local butcher for allegedly selling ground beef and sausage that contains cow hearts and other ingredients.

 Attorney General Chris Koster says from September 2010 through March 2011 the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the USDA conducted an investigation into John's Butcher Shoppee as the result of an anonymous tip.

 Koster says there is no danger to consumers.

US Fidelis founders face multiple felony indictments

Jun 15, 2011
St. Charles County Department of Corrections.

The millionaire brothers who ran US Fidelis, the country’s largest auto-warranty service provider have been indicted on multiple felony charges.

Darain and Cory Atkinson founded US Fidelis in 2003 selling the kind of extended auto warranties often advertised in junk mail or TV.

Over a three-year period the Better Business Bureau received over a thousand complaints and 33,000 inquiries.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Nixon to sign budget, Missouri RX bills

Gov. Jay Nixon will sign the 2012 budget for the state of Missouri - and cuts to the $23 billion spending plan are already in the works.

The governor said two weeks ago he would have to cut at least $113 million. Much of that is due to unplanned expenses from the Joplin tornado and flooding in southeast Missouri. More cuts could be necessary as the state is now also responding to floods along the Missouri River in the northwest corner of the state.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

Black motorists were more likely than others to be stopped by Missouri police last year.

An annual report released Wednesday by the attorney general found that black drivers were 69 percent more likely than white motorists to be pulled over in 2010.

Flickr/Marcin Wichary

Severe Weather Hits Missouri

Tornados swept through eastern Missouri yesterday, damaging homes and yanking down power lines. No injuries were reported.

The Pike County Sheriff's Department says the storm hit the Bowling Green area late yesterday afternoon, and that three tornadoes were seen in the county in a 45-minute period. Some homes in the Clarksville area had roof damage, and barns and outbuildings in rural Pike County also were damaged.

(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

Updated 4:35 p.m. April 11, 2011 with comment from Jones and Tilley.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says Congress overstepped its constitutional powers under the commerce clause when it mandated that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Koster says he filed a document (see below) Monday with a federal appeals court supporting a Florida lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new federal health care law.

A three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals has dismissed two lawsuits filed by Attorney General Chris Koster that argued debt collection companies were violating the state's Merchandising Practices Act.

The rulings appear to be the first time a state court has considered whether the MPA applies to third-party actors like debt collectors.

(Flickr/Brian Hillegas)
  • Missouri officials say freight has started moving again on the Missouri River – even before the official start of the shipping season. The Missouri Department of Transportation says that cement, fertilizer and other freight was being transported on the river this week. The U.S. Coast Guard is to place navigational buoys on the waterway April 1. State transportation officials say their goal is to boost the amount of products moved by barge on the Missouri River. About 334,000 tons of freight was transported on the river last year, up about 24 percent from 2009.

  • Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the federal health care law's legal fate is still uncertain. Koster's statement comes in response to three Republican officials who asked him whether he thought the law could be enforced in Missouri. Two federal judges upheld the health care overhaul. A third struck down the insurance requirement, and a fourth ruled the entire law is unconstitutional. Appeals courts will consider those rulings. Koster says Missouri risks possible sanctions by not complying with the law while waiting for a definitive ruling. Koster says lawmakers and the governor will have to weigh the risks of possible sanctions against costs for complying with the law. The GOP officials who requested the legal analysis criticized Koster's response for not being sufficiently specific.

  • Trustees at the University of Illinois are scheduled to vote on a plan to increase tuition by 6.9 percent for  students who start this fall. That means new students at the university's Urbana-Champaign campus would pay $11,104 a year in tuition. Students at the Chicago campus would pay $9,764, while students in Springfield would pay $8,670. Those figures don't include fees, room and board. Last year, trustees raised tuition by 9.5 percent. University spokesman Thomas Hardy calls the increase trustees are scheduled to consider today "a conservative proposal." Hardy says it keeps in mind the concerns of families and the financial needs of the university.

(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the federal health care law's legal fate is still uncertain.

Koster's statement comes in response to three Republican officials who asked him whether he thought the law could be enforced in Missouri.

Two federal judges upheld the health care overhaul. A third struck down the insurance requirement, and a fourth ruled the entire law is unconstitutional. Appeals courts will consider those rulings.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

South County Republican state Senator Jim Lembke says the opinion issued last week by attorney general Chris Koster still doesn't convince him that some municipal ordinances authorizing red light cameras are legal.

Lembke, who's introduced legislation again this year that would ban the use of the cameras, says he agrees that local governments are allowed to put up the cameras.

  • Parts of Missouri are cleaning up after strong storms swept across the state overnight. The storms may have resulted in a few tornadoes late last night and early this morning. High winds knocked down power lines and trees in parts of the St. Louis area. There were no reports of injuries. Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were common in the St. Louis area.
  • Crews with Ameren Missouri are working to restore power to thousands of customers throughout Missouri.
  • The state of Missouri has carried out its first execution in nearly two years. Early this morning, 47-year-old Martin Link was put to death for the 1991 kidnapping, rape and murder of 11-year-old Elissa Self-Braun. Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Cline says Link died by lethal injection shortly after midnight at the state prison in Bonne Terre. On Monday, Gov.
(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has unveiled the legislative changes he says will strengthen the state's domestic violence laws.

The 12 recommendations are the result of a task force Koster convened last year, and seven of them will require action by the General Assembly.

Most of the legislative proposals focus on strengthening orders of protection, which Koster calls the main tools to help domestic violence victims. He says current law doesn't allow juveniles to request those orders.