NewsEvents

Rutledge Praises FDA for Action Against Unwashed Poppy Seeds

Says, ‘This is an important first step to protecting consumers from reckless business practices’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the statement below following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) issuance of a warning letter to one online poppy seed seller.

“I am pleased the FDA is taking steps to protect consumers from the hidden dangers of unwashed poppy seeds,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Its letter identifies one company’s continued claims that unwashed poppy seeds provide similar benefits to pharmaceutical drugs, without any approval from the FDA, which is a violation of the law. This is an important first step to protecting consumers from reckless business practices, by addressing a company that markets washed, unwashed and unprocessed poppy seeds for medicinal uses not approved by the FDA.”

Earlier this month, Rutledge sent a letter to the FDA requesting clear label standards for unwashed poppy seeds. In early July, Rutledge sent a letter to a number of online retailers requesting the removal of unwashed poppy seeds from online products, and a couple of weeks later Bonanza, eBay and Etsy removed labeled unwashed poppy seeds from their online catalogs. Walmart had previously removed its supply. Earlier this year, Attorney General Rutledge released an Attorney General Alert warning consumers of the dangers of unwashed poppy seeds after meeting with the Hacalas to hear the tragic story of their son, Stephen, who died from morphine intoxication after consuming so-called poppy seed tea made from unwashed poppy seeds.

Dr. Stephen Erickson, a Forensic Pathologist at the Arkansas State Crime Lab, partnered with forensic toxicologist Dr. Madeline Swartwood, to conduct a study that found that one particular bag of unwashed poppy seeds contained enough morphine to nearly fill a bottle of 100, 30-milligram morphine pills – an amount comparable to what is prescribed to a palliative bone cancer patient.

Rutledge Welcomes Agriculture Technology & the Law Summit Participants to Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today made her first public appearance since giving birth to her daughter to welcome participants to the Agriculture Technology & the Law Summit: Advancing American Agriculture at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The educational event was created in partnership with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the National Agricultural Law Center, to bring together public and private legal experts and agriculture industry representatives to address unique legal and policy questions.

“When I became co-chair of NAAG’s Agriculture Committee three years ago, I envisioned Arkansas hosting a first-rate legal education program for state Attorneys General staff, state regulatory staff and others focused on agricultural law,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Today we welcome agriculture leaders and attorneys from nearly 30 states, a testament to how important agriculture is to the foundation of our great country.“

Forums over the two-day event will include discussions on big data, unmanned vehicles, biotechnology, global theft of intellectual properties, pesticide regulation, rural broadband and more. Summit attendees will receive 12 hours of general Continuing Legal Education credit including 2 hours of Ethic/Professional Education credit in Arkansas.

Rutledge Supports Effort to End Taxpayer Funding of Planned Parenthood in Ohio

Says, ‘It is important that we stand together to protect the lives of the unborn’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined a coalition of 15 states in filing an amicus brief in support of the state of Ohio, defending that state’s lawful decision to end the use of taxpayer dollars to fund Planned Parenthood.

“I am proud to support Ohio’s decision to join Arkansas in stopping Medicaid dollars from funding Planned Parenthood,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is important that we stand together to protect the lives of the unborn and ensure that no taxpayer dollars fund abortions.”

Arkansas joined the brief, led by Michigan, with Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Rutledge Leads Additional Multistate Brief in Nebraska Execution Drug Case

Says, ‘I will continue to fight for justice and support my colleagues against these meritless arguments’

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge led an additional coalition of fourteen states in filing an amicus brief in support of the State of Nebraska, arguing the courts should put an end to the recent phenomenon of pharmaceutical companies bringing meritless lawsuits designed to prevent states from carrying out lawful executions. This is the second multistate brief Rutledge has led in the past week arguing against such meritless lawsuits.

“Pharmaceutical companies are trying to circumvent the rule of law by using eleventh-hour litigation tactics to stall these lawful executions,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer it is my duty to ensure the families of victims have justice. The Arkansas Supreme Court did not cave to the pressure from anti-death-penalty advocates. I will continue to fight for justice and support my colleagues against these meritless arguments in states like Nevada and Nebraska, where drug companies have asked courts to halt lawful executions.”

Arkansas is joined in the amicus brief by Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Rutledge Announces Arrest of Farmington Woman for Stealing Opioids

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of a Washington County woman.

Ashley Renee Beeks, 26, of Farmington, is accused of stealing oxycodone pills while working at a Fayetteville nursing and rehabilitation facility in December 2017. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Beeks turned herself in to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. She is charged with one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, a Class D felony.

“Arkansas has been devastated by the opioid epidemic,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will prosecute people such as Beeks who steal patients’ medications and abuse the system.”

Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

Rutledge Welcomes Summer Session II Law Clerks

Says ‘The law clerk program connects students with some of Arkansas’s best attorneys’

LITTLE ROCK Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge welcomed a new class of law clerks for the second summer session to the Attorney General’s Office. These law students work in various departments assisting with legal research, drafting memos and legal documents and accompanying lawyers at trials, client meetings and hearings.

“Law clerks are a valuable asset to the State and the Attorney General’s Office,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The law clerk program connects students with some of Arkansas’s best attorneys to provide an opportunity for students to thrive in an educational environment and foster mentorships while being exposed to the fulfilling experience of public service.”

Evangeline Bacon, a second-year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the Criminal Department. She received a Bachelor’s degree in history and music from the University of Arkansas in 2017. Bacon is from Rogers and graduated from Life Way Christian School in 2013.

Eli Bauer, a second-year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. He received a Bachelor’s degree in biology and political science from Arkansas State University in 2017. Bauer is from Jonesboro and graduated from Nettleton High School in 2013.

Reese Dollins, a second-year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the Civil Department. He received a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Arkansas in 2017. Dollins is from Bentonville and graduated from Bentonville High School in 2013.

Katie Hicks, a second-year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Arkansas in 2017. Hicks is from Conway and graduated from Conway High School in 2013.

William Kellstrom, a third-year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the State Agencies Department. He received a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Arkansas in 2016. Kellstrom is from Hot Springs and graduated from Lake Hamilton High School in 2012.

Asher Steinberg, a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, is clerking for the Solicitor General. He received a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Duke University in 2009. Steinberg is from Maple Glen, Pennsylvania and graduated from Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

August
21
Tuesday

Franklin County Resources Day

Franklin County Senior Center
222 N. Vine Street, Charleston

Mobile Office
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Anthony Boen
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Scams and Identity Theft Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
August
23
Thursday

Union County Resources Day

Union County Cooperative Extension – El Dorado
307 American Road, Suite 101

Mobile Office
10:30 a.m. to noon

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Ricky Roberts
10:30 a.m. to noon

Scams and Identity Theft Presentation
11:30 a.m. to noon

 10:30 AMVIEW 
August
28
Tuesday

Stone County Resources Day

Stone County Cooperative Extension – Mountain View
205 Martin Street

Mobile Office
10:30 a.m. to noon

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Lance Bonds
10:30 a.m. to noon

Scams and Identity Theft Presentation
11:30 a.m. to noon

 10:30 AMVIEW 
August
30
Thursday

Crittenden County Resources Day

Crittenden County Cooperative Extension – Marion
116 Center Street

Mobile Office
10:30 a.m. to noon

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Mike Allen
10:30 a.m. to noon

Scams and Identity Theft Presentation
11:30 a.m. to noon

 10:30 AMVIEW 
September
6
Thursday

NWA Law Enforcement Training

8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville

Topics include:

  • Fighting the Opioid Epidemic in Arkansas
  • Enhanced Crisis Intervention
  • Investigating Elder Abuse in Arkansas
  • Protecting Arkansans from Scams and Identity Theft
  • Cyber Crimes Update

Register today for this free law enforcement training. Seating is limited.

View the agenda. Lunch will be provided. Training will be held in the Shewmaker Center, Walmart Auditorium.

This training has been approved for 5.5 hours of Continuing Law Enforcement Education (CLEST) credit and 4.75 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.

 8:30 AMVIEW 
September
6
Thursday

Bradley County Resources Day

Bradley County Municipal Building
104 N. Myrtle Street, Warren

Mobile Office
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription Drug Take Back
Law enforcement partner: Sheriff Herschel Tillman
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Prescription for Life Presentation
11 to 11:30 a.m.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
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