Rutledge Statement on Trump Administration’s Withdraw of Bathroom DirectiveWed, Feb 22, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in response to the Trump Administration’s withdraw of the Obama Administration’s directive on school bathroom access.
“The Trump Justice Department was correct to withdraw the previous administration’s bathroom directive,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This unlawful federal directive was an attempt to force a liberal, outrageous social agenda on school-age children. Local schools, not the federal government, are in a much better position to provide reasonable, dignified, respectful solutions for all students, including those who are transgendered. I will continue to review tonight’s guidance, and discuss with my colleagues around the country the impact it will have on our current litigation.”
Rutledge and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson led a 10-state coalition challenging the Obama Administration’s directive. In August, a U.S. District Judge issued a nationwide injunction in a similar case brought by Texas, prohibiting the federal government from enforcing the directive on public schools across the country to open gender-specific bathrooms and locker rooms to both sexes.
Rutledge Announces Jacksonville Man Sentenced for Crimes Involving ChildrenWed, Feb 22, 2017
Says, ‘This office will not stop in our important work to pursue and bring to justice the criminals who prey on our children’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that a Pulaski County man has been sentenced to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction and must register as a sex offender.
Nicholas Bulthuis, 56, of Jacksonville, pleaded guilty to one count of computer child pornography, a Class B felony, and to nine counts of distributing, possessing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony.
“This office will not stop in our important work to pursue and bring to justice the criminals who prey on our children,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I appreciate the cooperation of local prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies to help put people like Mr. Bulthuis behind bars.”
Special Agents from the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Attorney General’s office initiated an investigation of the defendant based on a Cybertip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that a Facebook user, Bulthuis, was possessing and distributing child sexual exploitation materials and soliciting children. Upon further investigation, agents obtained a warrant to search the defendant’s home for all electronic devices. During the search, agents located and seized a cellphone that contained approximately 10 images of children. Attorneys from the Cyber Crimes Unit were named special prosecutors in this case by Larry Jegley, Prosecuting Attorney, 6th Judicial District.
Rutledge Statement on Status of Executions in ArkansasTue, Feb 21, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of a petition for writ of certiorari by a group of Arkansas prisoners concerning the State’s method of execution.
“Today’s decision from the nation’s high court ends this case, which means that executions can move forward in Arkansas, and families of the victims will see justice carried out for those who committed heinous crimes against their loved ones,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will immediately provide the Court’s order to the Arkansas Supreme Court, and once the clerk issues the mandate, the current injunction on executions will automatically be lifted. Thereafter, I will inform Governor Hutchinson that executions may resume and request that dates be set for those who have exhausted all appeals.”
Rutledge Statement on Confirmation of Scott Pruitt to be EPA AdministratorFri, Feb 17, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement following the confirmation vote by the U.S. Senate of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“With the confirmation today of my friend, Scott Pruitt, to lead the EPA, I am positive the agency will focus on protecting the environment while not negatively impacting the economy and job market with unnecessary, burdensome regulations,” said Attorney General Rutledge.
Rutledge Files Lawsuit Against The Resort PlaceThu, Feb 16, 2017
Says, ‘This business has been over promising and under delivering, ruining many vacations’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed a consumer-protection lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Barling-based The Resort Place and its owners, Jay Allen and Dora Ann Edmondson. The Resort Place also conducts business under the names of Resort Place Travel and C4Success.
“This business has been over promising and under delivering, ruining many vacations in the process,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “After receiving over 75 complaints and conducting an investigation, I am filing a lawsuit against The Resort Place. By taking money from consumers and failing to provide the promised goods and services, this company has repeatedly violated Arkansas law and caused many undue financial hardships.”
The Resort Place offers services to vacation-property owners seeking to rent their properties and to vacation-rental customers seeking to book a property for a period of time through email solicitations and two websites, theresortplace.com and resortplacetravel.com.
Consumers describe paying The Resort Place for vacation bookings but then learning upon arrival that the reservation was never booked. Some consumers have also said they were moved from the resort that was promised to a hotel room with none of the amenities that were included in their original reservation. Others complained they had to pay for substitute accommodations out-of-pocket — with fewer amenities — even though payment had been previously made to The Resort Place.
Rutledge reports in today’s filing one consumer who traveled 10 hours by car with an infant and a toddler to vacation in Florida at a resort that was booked and paid for through The Resort Place. Upon arrival, the individual was informed that The Resort Place had not paid for the promised accommodations. The consumer contacted The Resort Place and was instructed to pay over $5,000 for the accommodations out-of-pocket, which she was promised would be reimbursed. The company repeatedly claimed to issue payment to the customer, but each payment bounced and the promised reimbursement has still not been received. Many of the complaints into the Attorney General’s office report nearly identical occurrences.
Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution, attorneys’ fees, costs and other relief against The Resort Place and the Edmondsons.
Rutledge Reaches Settlement with Walgreen CompanyWed, Feb 15, 2017
Arkansas to receive nearly $95,000
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined with the federal government and other states to settle allegations that the Walgreen Co., or Walgreens, unlawfully solicited and allowed Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to enroll in its Prescription Savings Club program in order to encourage such individuals to self-refer prescriptions to Walgreens’ pharmacies.
“Walgreens allegedly encouraged Arkansans to enroll in a program that claimed cost savings but in reality only helped the company pad their bottom line with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans deserve to be treated honestly and fairly especially when it comes to prescription drug costs.”
The alleged conduct by Walgreens constitutes a clear violation of federal and state anti-kickback statutes. Walgreens, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, will pay the states and the federal government $50 million, of which Arkansas will receive $94,634.35 for the Arkansas Medicaid Program to resolve civil allegations that Walgreens submitted false claims to that program arising out of its unlawful kickback marketing scheme.
The investigation resulted from an action originally filed in January 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under the federal False Claims Act and various state false claims statutes.
A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with Walgreens on behalf of the states. The team included representatives from the Offices of the Attorneys General for the states of California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and New York.