No time like the present for the Fenty administration to look for ways to take heat off Attorney General Peter Nickles

Nickles has been under the gun recently after pushing through a quick $550,000 settlement with a company owned by an Adrian Fenty fraternity brother that’s under investigation by the D.C. Council. He picked up more heat Thursday when The Washington City Paper’s Loose Lips column compared Nickles to Fenty’s Samwise Gamgee and slammed the administration for a failing press operation.

On Friday, the mayor’s press shop sent out a release noting that Nickles’ lawsuits have collected $10 million for the city over the past three years.

Among his wins being touted: The Attorney General’s public advocacy section recently settled with Fast Auto Loans, Inc., a Virginia-based company that was swindling residents on car loans, the release said. Consumers received $71,000 in restitution from the company and had to pay $100,000 into the District’s consumer protection fund.

“I am very proud of our Public Advocacy Section’s success in protecting the public from deception and fraud while generating a positive net cash flow for the District government’s coffers,” Nickles said in the release.