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Attorney General visits Kiwanis
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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt speaks at the Great Bend Noon Kiwanis meeting, Wednesday at Montana Mikes Steakhouse. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

The top legal officer of the state of Kansas, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, visited Great Bend on Wednesday. Schmidt was the guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club meeting, which drew as many guests as members for his luncheon program.
Great Bend Attorney Robert Feldt introduced Schmidt, the state’s 44th attorney general.
“The attorney general is a kind of attorney — not a general,” Feldt said.
Schmidt talked about consumer protection, which has become an important part of the duties of his office. When it comes to rip-offs, he said, “we’re seeing the same old stuff.” Consumers report telephone scams and bogus door-to-door sales, but law enforcement has a better chance of catching the crooks in the latter category. Those include fly-by-night operators who offer to do home repairs, such as asphalt or roof repairs.
“We’ll see a lot of those in Russell County in about a week,” Schmidt said.
“The Legislature told us we need to do a better job of regulating roofers,” he continued.

According to the attorney general’s website, In Your Corner Kansas:
“When the storms hit, it is common for out-of-area, traveling contractors to roll into a damaged town looking to make a quick buck. To help combat this, the Legislature in 2013 passed a law requiring roofing contractors to register with the attorney general’s office. The program has been successful, with nearly 1,100 roofers currently registered and in good standing to operate in Kansas.
“If your roof is damaged in a spring storm – or if you’re just looking to have some work done on your roof this spring – it’s important to make sure the roofing contractor you use is properly registered with the attorney general’s office. Ask the roofer to provide you a copy of their current roofing registration certificate, and go to our website at to check the current registration list to make sure the contractor is in good standing. Many city and county governments also require permits before doing work, so make sure your roofer has complied with all local ordinances as well.”

Schmidt also talked about Kansas and U.S. Supreme Court litigation. He has taken about one case a year to the Supreme Court.
“States, generally speaking, ought to be active in Supreme Court litigation,” he said. “We ought to be part of the argument when it’s appropriate.”
This year, the United States Supreme Court will review the Kansas Supreme Court decisions last July that overturned the death sentences of three convicted killers. The Court will consider the Kansas rulings involving brothers Jonathan and Reginald Carr, and another case involving Sidney Gleason, who killed Great Bend residents Mikiala "Miki" Martinez and Darren Wornkey. All three men were convicted of capital murder.
“We think there is a hole in the law,” Schmidt said. “A credible Eighth Amendment issue the Court ought to decide.”