Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
Our Back the Blue Campaign continues to highlight individuals that take extraordinary steps to further build positive relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
This week, I traveled to Fort Myers to present a Back the Blue Award to School Resource Officer Donna Aiossa-McNally who serves at Buckingham Exceptional Student Center. Deputy Aiossa-McNally gave up her office and turned it into a food pantry so that special needs students could learn the shopping experience. By creating the food pantry, students are able to develop important vocational skills, build confidence when making decisions, and bring food home so they do not go hungry at night. This is especially significant at Buckingham because 78 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches.
Deputy Aiossa-McNally is also working towards making the school’s home economics kitchen ADA and wheelchair accessible. This would give students the opportunity to learn how to cook and make meals themselves from the items they picked at the food pantry.
School resource officers are important to the schools they serve in many ways. After visiting Buckingham, it was clear how valued Deputy Aiossa-McNally is by these students and the impact she has made at the school. She started this project by personally stocking shelves herself and is now partnered with Harry Chapin Food Bank. The food bank delivers 400 to 500 pounds of food to the school every Friday.
Thank you, Deputy Aiossa-McNally for going above and beyond your duties, for building a strong relationship between local law enforcement and your community, and for simply being the good person you are.
For more information about our Back the Blue Campaign and to nominate a law enforcement officer, citizen or organization for an award, click here.
In closing, I would like to take a moment to recognize American’s fallen heroes. Monday is Memorial Day, and as Floridians prepare to enjoy a long holiday weekend, let us not forget the courage and sacrifice of our military heroes who gave their lives, so we could live free.
Florida Attorney General Announces First-Ever Multistate HIPAA-Related Data Breach Lawsuit and Recovery
Attorney General Ashley Moody announced an agreement reached in the nation’s first-ever multistate lawsuit filed in a federal court involving a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act data breach. The 16-state agreement comes following a lawsuit filed in December 2018 in federal court in Indiana against Medical Informatics Engineering, Inc., a web-based electronic health records company. The company provides patient portal and personal health records services to healthcare providers that enable patients to access and manage their electronic health records. In 2015, the company allegedly sustained a data breach compromising the data of more than 3.9 million people. The proposed consent judgment, pending court approval, resolves allegations that MIE violated provisions of HIPAA, as well as the Florida Information Protection Act and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Consumers have the right to have their most private health details protected. Companies that are entrusted with individual’s medical records and other private information must take serious precautions to keep information secure from hackers.” More.
Attorney General Moody Urges Congress to Stop the Promotion of Illegal Activity on Internet Platforms
Attorney General Ashley Moody is urging Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to ensure that state and local authorities are able to protect citizens online from the promotion of illegal activity, including black-market drug sales. The request to amend the Act will also allow states to take action against individuals promoting illegal activity and using the Act to claim freedom of expression to evade prosecution.
The Act is designed to promote free expression online, especially on message boards and social media; however, part of the Act is still being misinterpreted to allow individuals or companies to profit from illegal activity. Attorney General Moody is one of 47 attorneys general nationwide asking Congress to amend the Act.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This part of the Communications Decency Act may have been necessary when the Internet was in it its infancy, but now it is being exploited to promote illegal activity, including the sale of deadly opioids that is feeding our national opioid epidemic. Attorneys general already previously demanded amendments to this Act to stop the enabling of sex trafficking, and we must revise the Act again to stop CDA immunity from being used by perpetrators who violate state or territorial criminal law.” More.
Attorney General Moody and FTC Announce Refunds for Victims of Illegal Robocall Operation
Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Federal Trade Commission announced the distribution of refund checks to victims of an illegal robocall operation. All Us Marketing LLC, f/k/a Payless Solutions, LLC and affiliated businesses allegedly bombarded consumers with massive robocall campaigns designed to trick consumers into paying up-front for a worthless credit card interest rate reduction program. In 2017, The Attorney General’s Office and FTC obtained a permanent injunction against the operation, prohibiting the defendants from telemarketing, offering debt-relief products or services, and more.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This illegal robocall operation swarmed consumers with millions of unwanted calls, tricking them into purchasing fraudulent financial services. I’d like to thank the Federal Trade Commission for partnering with our office in shutting down this deceitful operation and helping the victims recover lost funds.” More.
Attorney General Moody Calls for Student Loan Forgiveness for Disabled Veterans
Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking the U.S. Department of Education to forgive the student loans of veterans who became totally and permanently disabled while serving in the United States Military. The request is part of an effort by a coalition of 51 attorneys general to offer financial relief to military members injured while serving our country.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As we honor our fallen military heroes this Memorial Day weekend, let us not forget the brave men and women permanently disabled while serving our country. I am calling on the U.S. Department of Education to discharge the student loans of these courageous Americans, and to set up a system to automatically discharge any future student loans held by military members permanently disabled while serving our great nation.” More.
This week, Attorney General Ashley Moody visited the Buckingham Exceptional Student Center in Fort Myers to present a Back the Blue Award to School Resource Officer Donna Aiossa-McNally. Deputy Aiosssa-McNally gave up her office and turned it into a pantry so students can obtain food so they won’t go hungry. During the visit, Attorney General Moody met with Deputy Aiossa-McNally’s students.
Attorney General Moody with Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic Calabro in Tallahassee. Attorney General Moody and Calabro discussed improving government efficiency and saving Florida taxpayers money.
Attorney General Moody met with United States Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Uttam Dhillon in Orlando. The DEA is a great partner in Attorney General Moody’s mission to aggressively fight the opioid epidemic that is claiming 17 lives a day in Florida.
Next month, Attorney General Moody will host a Senior Scam Stopper Workshop in The Villages. All seniors are encouraged to attend this free event that will provide information about spotting scams and preventing fraud targeting older Floridians. For more information, click here.
Leading up to this workshop, the Attorney General is promoting a Super Senior Sleuth weekly. At the workshop, one of these Super Sleuths will receive an Advocate of the Year Award for their outstanding work in protecting seniors.
Our Super Senior Sleuth for this week is Kim, who fights senior fraud out of the Tallahassee office. Congrats, Kim! To learn more about Kim, click here.
Former American Bar Association and Florida State University president Sandy D’Alemberte passed away this week. Attorney General Moody remembered D’Alemberte for his dedication to the law and public service, leaving behind a legacy of kindness and humility that should serve as an example to those in academia, legal professions and Florida politics.