Gary King’s time in the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office caught the attention of The New York Times this week, with the paper turning a critical eye on the practice of AGs hiring contract lawyers to pursue lawsuits suggested by the same hired legal help.
King, who leaves the Attorney General’s Office at the end of the month, defended the practice in comments to the Times, saying the ability to hire contract attorneys boosts the AG’s ability to protect New Mexicans.
“It’s one of the only tools I have to level the playing field on behalf of consumers, given the significant financial firepower that big pharma, big banking and any number of other industries have,” King told the Times. “The attorney general is virtually the only protection the consumer has against abuse by those industries.”
Some AGs quoted by the Times were critical of the practice, including Colorado AG John Suthers, who called it “farming out the police powers of the state.”