NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


May 23, 2000 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

CURRAN AND SCHAEFER ANNOUNCE NEW CONSUMER PARTNERSHIP
Marylanders Will Now Be Able to Get Consumer Aid
at Comptroller's 20 Field Offices

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., and Maryland Comptroller William Donald Schaefer announced today a new partnership that will benefit Maryland consumers by giving them access to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division publications and consumer complaint forms at the Comptroller's 20 field offices located throughout the state. Consumers who do not have internet access and who cannot get to the Attorney General's Baltimore, Hagerstown or Salisbury offices, will be able to seek assistance for their consumer complaints or obtain consumer-related advice more easily by visiting area taxpayer assistance offices.

"Our consumer protection division is one of the finest in the country and we want to make sure that every Maryland consumer has access to its services," Attorney General Curran said. "This partnership is a perfect example of the benefits of cooperation among government agencies."

Under the plan announced earlier today, representatives at the Comptroller's 20 taxpayer service offices will provide materials to help citizens resolve a complaint against a business, receive explanations about a doctor bill, seek mediation in a landlord-tenant relationship and obtain assistance with other consumer and healthcare issues. The Comptroller's Office representatives will also assist citizens in filling out the appropriate forms and forward them to the Office of the Attorney General.

"Many people don't know what a great service the Attorney General's Office provides," Comptroller Schaefer said. "Allowing Joe Curran and his people to use our offices as a point of contact goes a long way to do the right thing for more and more people."

Citizens can find a listing of the taxpayer service offices at the Comptroller's website at www.comp.state.md.us/individual/localoffices.asp.

###