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June 20, 2013

LITTLE ROCK – Chief Deputy Attorney General Brad Phelps has received an award from the National Association of Attorneys General for his exemplary work to negotiate a landmark agreement with major tobacco companies.

Phelps was presented with the award Wednesday at NAAG’s annual summer meeting in Boston. He is the first Arkansan to receive such recognition.

“As co-chairman of the NAAG Tobacco Project, I tasked Brad several years ago to lead the national effort to protect taxpayer dollars and resolve the lengthy legal dispute with tobacco companies,” Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said. “Brad worked for years to resolve the issues and ensure that our state receives the funding it deserves. His dedication is unmatched, and as a result, Arkansas and 21 other states that joined in our settlement can move forward knowing that we will continue to receive vital funding for public health programs.”

Phelps was presented NAAG’s Laurie Loveland Award by Attorney General Marty Jackley, R-S.D., who is the current co-chairman of the organization’s Tobacco Committee. The award is named for the late North Dakota solicitor general, who had been a key member of NAAG’s tobacco negotiating team. Jackley said Phelps “exemplifies the dedication, commitment and strategic thinking that honors Laurie Loveland’s memory.”

McDaniel was co-chairman of the Tobacco Committee from 2010-12, directing Phelps to work with tobacco companies and other states to end the dispute over payments related to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. Earlier this year, Arkansas and the companies reached an agreement that ensured the state would receive more than half the money held in escrow for nearly a decade while the dispute was ongoing.

An arbitration panel in March allowed the agreement to proceed, with Arkansas receiving $22.7 million. McDaniel has called the agreement “one of the most significant accomplishments” of his service as Attorney General.

Phelps has been chief deputy attorney general since 2010. A Jonesboro native, he attended Hendrix College and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law. He and his wife, Crystal, live in Little Rock.