Attorney General Moody's Week In Review
This week, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order establishing Florida’s Statewide Task Force on Opioid Drug Abuse. I am honored and humbled to serve as Chair of this vital 21-member team. From my very first day in office, we sought a formalized statewide structure to meet this crisis head on, and I am grateful to Governor DeSantis for taking swift action to establish this task force.
As a former federal prosecutor and circuit judge, I have seen how drug abuse destroys families and harms our state. When I began my campaign for Attorney General, I talked about the devastating reality that Florida lost 14 people to opioid overdoses every day. As I traveled the state, I had parents cry on my shoulder as they told me of losing their child to this epidemic.
Now, 17 people a day are dying from opioid abuse in Florida.
Given these heartbreaking statistics, I made ending the opioid crisis a top priority of my administration. During my first week in office, we assembled a working group of experts to examine the crisis. Just before Legislative Session began, the working group issued a report of recommendations.
Establishing a statewide task force to continue to build upon the foundation laid by these experts was a top recommendation of our working group. We immediately sought legislation to create the statewide task force, and now, with the Governor’s Executive Order, we are able to begin this important work even sooner.
I want to again thank Governor DeSantis for appointing me Chair of the Statewide Task Force on Opioid Drug Abuse. I am honored to help lead this mission and look forward to bolstering our ongoing efforts against this deadly crisis.
Working together we will save lives and protect Florida families.
Attorney General Moody Recognizes State Trooper for Saving Civilian’s Life
Attorney General Ashley Moody presented a Back the Blue Award to Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Mithil Patel at the Florida Cabinet Meeting. In December 2018, Trooper Patel responded to an accident on Interstate 95 near Hobe Sound and began interviewing an individual when another vehicle spun out of control and came barreling towards them. Without hesitation, Trooper Patel pushed the civilian out of harm’s way and saved his life. However, the out-of-control vehicle struck Trooper Patel and flung him violently into the air. Trooper Patel sustained major injuries that resulted in the Trooper being in critical condition. Trooper Patel spent two months recovering from injuries so that he could return to work, to a job he has devoted more than five years of his life. Though not yet fully recovered, Trooper Patel returned to FHP to work light-duty in February.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The selflessness and bravery Trooper Patel exhibited without hesitation, and without regard for his own safety, shines an example of the men and women who dedicate their lives to serve and protect others. Every time I watch the dashcam video from this accident my heart drops. It is law enforcement officers, like Trooper Patel, who are real-life heroes we should all admire and strive to emulate. Thank you, Trooper Patel for your service and sacrifice for the safety of Floridians.” More.
Attorney General Moody Pushes Back Against Loosening CDC Opioid Prescription Guidelines
Attorney General Ashley Moody pushed back against a dangerous federal proposal to loosen opioid prescribing guidelines. Attorney General Moody and 38 other attorneys general are expressing concerns about a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services pain management draft report. The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Draft Report deviates from strict guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were intended to decrease the risk of opioid misuse. The report suggests medical providers should rely on personal judgment instead of consulting evidence-based recommendations, including opioid prescription duration and dosage.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “It is inconceivable that anyone would recommend making it easier to access opioids when it is so evident that our country is going through a raging opioid crisis. In Florida alone, we are losing 17 people a day to opioid abuse. Moving away from these guidelines during this critical time could destroy any progress made and would only feed this deadly epidemic. Not only does this report ludicrously suggest loosening these restrictions, it does not even provide a reason for departing from these evidence-based guidelines.” More.
Judge Denies Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss in Florida Opioid Litigation
Attorney General Ashley Moody marked another victory in the legal battle to hold the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers, distributors and sellers responsible for their role in the national opioid crisis. Following a hearing in Pasco County, Circuit Judge Declan Mansfield denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the state’s litigation.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Today’s ruling by Judge Mansfield marks another victory in our fight to end the national opioid crisis claiming 17 lives a day in Florida. Our litigation seeks to hold responsible the major corporations that profited off the pain and suffering of Floridians and to ensure it never happens again.” More.
Attorney General Moody Sponsors Crime Victims’ Rights Resolution
Attorney General Ashley Moody presented a resolution to the Governor and Florida Cabinet recognizing National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is an annual commemoration that promotes victims’ rights and services. The resolution passed by unanimous vote.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “I am honored to sponsor and pass this important resolution supporting the rights of victims to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect. Our office works daily through our Division of Victim Services to ensure victims of crime have a voice and can access available resources to help them heal and recover.” More.
Former Care Facility Employee Arrested for Neglecting Disabled Patient
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit arrested a former care facility employee for allegedly neglecting a disabled patient. Acting on a referral from the Florida Department of Children and Families, MFCU investigators discovered that Victoria Hoseah failed to properly oversee the well-being of a Medicaid patient while on duty. The investigation revealed that Hoseah, 26, slept in a break room while the disabled patient crawled down a facility hallway. More.
Attorney General Moody Asks DMS to Evaluate State Contract with Company that Provided Services to Backpage.com
Attorney General Ashley Moody urged the Florida Department of Management Services to look into its vendor, SalesForce, Inc., a company that provided technical support to Backpage.com. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division seized Backpage.com last year as part of an ongoing federal investigation into sex trafficking. The company, SalesForce, Inc., is now being sued by victims of human trafficking, including a victim from Jacksonville.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As Chair of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, I want to make sure taxpayer money is not helping fund or facilitate the sexual exploitation of women and children. For years, human traffickers used Backpage.com to sell victims for sex, many of them minors." More.
Attorney General Moody Takes Action Against Custom Trailer Company
Attorney General Ashley Moody took action against a custom trailer company, its owner and two managers for deceiving customers. A complaint filed in Polk County against Husky Cargo, LLC, and two managers, Dwayne Pass and Tammy Pass, alleges that the business collected down payments for custom trailers that were not delivered or built as promised according to customer requirements. As part of a proposed consent judgment with the Attorney General’s Office, Husky Cargo agreed to provide restitution to consumers impacted by the alleged deceptive and unfair business practices.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Accepting payment without providing the product is not just a terrible business model, it is unlawful. Our Consumer Protection team will hold responsible any entity taking customers’ money and not delivering the promised goods or services.” More.
This week, Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Attorney General Ashley Moody Chair of the Statewide Task Force on Opioid Drug Abuse. Attorney General Moody is honored to lead the task force in the fight to end opioid abuse.
Before the announcement, Attorney General Moody and Governor DeSantis participated in a roundtable discussion about the opioid crisis.
Attorney General Moody with Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma and Sanford Police Chief Cecil E. Smith after the roundtable in Sanford.
Attorney General Moody participating in the unveiling of the Firefighters Memorial Monument on the Capitol grounds. Attorney General Moody joined Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the ceremony.
Attorney General Moody speaking at the Ringing of the Bell Ceremony commemorating fallen Florida firefighters. Attorney General Moody, Governor DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet honored the 197 fallen firefighters in Florida’s history.
Attorney General Moody joined Governor DeSantis, CFO Patronis and Commissioner Fried for a Florida Cabinet Meeting in Tallahassee.
Attorney General Moody presenting a Back the Blue Award to Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Mithil Patel during a Florida Cabinet Meeting. Trooper Patel pushed a civilian out of the way of a car spinning out of control, potentially saving his life. The car hit Trooper Patel during this heroic act.
Attorney General Moody with Florida House Pages and Messengers outside the Attorney General’s Office in the State Capitol.
Attorney General Moody with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and members of the Miami Fire Rescue during Paella Fest in the Florida Capitol Courtyard.
Attorney General Moody taking part in the annual Paella Fest with Miami-Dade County officials in the Florida Capitol Courtyard, part of Miami-Dade County Days. The two-day event embraces Miami-Dade County’s diverse community.
Attorney General Moody speaking to the Florida Osteopathic Medicine Association inside the Senate Chambers of the Florida Capitol. Doctors and medical students from around the state gathered for FOMA’s 25th Annual Legislative Day.
Attorney General Moody running on a treadmill in the rotunda of the Florida Capitol to support the 42 Hours for the 42 Million campaign by the Lauren’s Kids organization. Founded by Florida Senator Lauren Book, Lauren’s Kids educates adults and children about sexual abuse prevention and helps survivors heal with guidance and support.