New York State Attorney General Attorney General Letitia James is the guest on the weekly local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up and discusses a variety of issues her office has been dealing with associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James (photo provided)

The 67th Attorney General of the State of New York says, as with most offices, the majority of her staff is working at home during the efforts to "social distance" to halt the spread of COVID-19.  James, assures New Yorkers, however, that the office is operating and advocating for residents.

Some major issues facing the state at this time involve incidents of domestic violence and abuse as many victims are finding themselves sheltering in the same location of their batterers.

James stresses services and support is available 24/7 and there is no reason for anyone to feel they have to be in danger.  In addition to calling 911 for immediate help, the New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence 14-hour hotline is 1-800-942-6906, a directory of programs can be found by county at the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence at https://www.nyscadv.org/find-help/program-directory.html  In the Southern Tier, the Crime Victims Assistance Center crisis line is (607) 722-4256.  There is also a new live chat with victim advocates at www.cvac.us.

The Attorney General says while the office continues to pursue cases of price gouging, scams involving fake cures (one radio host tried to peddle toothpaste as a cure for the coronavirus), stimulus phishing schemes and employment/benefit concerns, litigation concerning the opioid crisis and the role of big pharmaceuticals is continuing.

Any business or employee who has an issue or question about whether they are an essential service or residents with concerns about price gouging or scams can go to www.ag.ny.gov for information or to file a complaint or can call the Binghamton regional office at (607) 251-2770.

Southern Tier Close Up airs Saturdays at 12:10 p.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF.