Cornyn Responds

Here is Attorney General John Cornyn's response to a list of specific questions submitted by the Chronicle:

"The primary concern of the Office of the Attorney General is to protect the taxpayers of Texas from any potential liability. Currently, the 5 outside trial lawyers have broken their agreement to decide between the $3.3 billion from the tobacco companies and the $2.3 billion from taxpayers. It seems like an obvious choice to most Texans, but these lawyers admit to holding the taxpayer hostage for Œleverage.' That is wrong.

"These five trial lawyers should honor their December 1998 agreement with Governor Bush to let the taxpayers off the hook. In addition, these lawyers continue to refuse to cooperate with our investigation. They throw up roadblocks at every turn. I do not think it is proper to submit an investigation by the Attorney General's Office to be supervised of a federal court. [sic]

"Time and again these trial lawyers claim that they acted ethically. Now they have the chance to show the world that they did so. I call on them to

help bring this issue to closure and honor their agreements to let taxpayers off the hook. I ask them to honorably comply and fully cooperate with our investigation and produce the documents which rightly belong to Texas.

"If they choose not to cooperate and keep taxpayers on the hook, I will use every available legal means to protect the State of Texas."

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