NewsEvents

Rutledge Announces Judgment against Asphalt Services Company that Targeted Seniors

Says, ‘Targeting vulnerable Arkansans with aggressive, deceptive business practices will not be tolerated’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the judgment against a Texarkana-based asphalt service company for deceptive trade practices and targeting seniors. In January 2020, Rutledge filed a lawsuit against Robert Stevens, owner of Pro-Pave Asphalt, Robert Stevens Construction and RS Asphalt, for multiple violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA).

“Targeting vulnerable Arkansans with aggressive, deceptive business practices will not be tolerated and we will continue to act to protect Arkansas’s seniors and all consumers from bad actors,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This Judgment holds Stevens financially accountable for his wrongdoings and sends a warning message to other fraudsters in Arkansas.”

The Pulaski County Circuit Court ordered Stevens to pay $200,000 in civil penalties for 20 violations of the ADTPA, an additional $40,000 in enhanced penalties for targeting seniors, $40,480 in restitution, and $282.50 for the State’s costs and fees. Additionally, the Court enjoined Stevens from engaging in any business related to asphalt or paving in Arkansas until all penalties, costs, and fees have been paid.

Between April 2016 and August 2019, the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General received eight consumer complaints. Each complaint had a common scheme: Stevens or his employees would pull up to consumers’ houses in an asphalt truck, claim to have some leftover asphalt to sell at a “deeply discounted price,” and provide vague, misleading, and incomplete estimates of the total cost. Stevens then immediately began laying asphalt while failing to ever inform the consumer of the three-day right to cancel as required by the HSSA. After the work was completed or neared completion, Stevens demanded an exorbitant and unexpected fee. He threatened or intimidated consumers until they paid the fee.

General Rutledge encourages all Arkansans to request written estimates of the total project price before any construction work begins.

For more tips to help avoid falling victim to bad actors, or to file a consumer-related claim with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, call (800) 482-8982, email consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

Rutledge Issues Statement on Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement on the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

“Today, we witnessed a hallmark of American democracy, the peaceful transition of power as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been sworn into office,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “I pray that God will grant this new Administration the wisdom to lead the greatest nation the world has ever seen. May God bless these United States of America.”

Attorney General Rutledge Announces Redistricting Team

Says, ‘I cannot think of a better trio of dedicated public servants to work on behalf of Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced her new redistricting team. Former state senator, Doyle Webb, joins Rutledge’s senior staff as the Redistricting Director for the Attorney General. Webb will lead the redistricting team made up of former state representatives Andy Davis and Col. Douglas House, U.S. Army, Retired, who have been contracted as consultants.

“I am ecstatic to welcome Doyle Webb, Doug House and Andy Davis to my team to help with this important task of redrawing state legislative districts,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “They will bring with them more than 50 years of experience in government, engineering and law. I cannot think of a better trio of dedicated public servants to work on behalf of Arkansans and assist with the redistricting efforts."

Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, states begin the process of redrawing legislative district boundaries to accommodate for population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible. In Arkansas, the districts for the state legislature are drawn by The Board of Apportionment, which consists of the Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State.

Doyle Webb, from Saline County, was formally the chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) where he served for the past 12 years and General Counsel to the Republican National Committee. He holds the record as the longest serving Republican state party chairman in Arkansas and in the country. Throughout his long career, Webb served as a Saline County Justice of the Peace and as State Senator for District 14 where he served from 1995-2002. During his legislative service, Webb served as Vice Chairman of State Agencies, Chairman of Joint Entergy Committee, member of Senate Judiciary Committee, member of Legislative Council, Joint Budget and Joint Audit. He was Chief of Staff to Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller, County Chairman of the Saline County Committee, 2nd District Chairman and General Counsel to the RPA. Webb obtained his J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law in 1981 and practiced law in Saline County for 25 years.

Douglas House, from Pulaski County, is a retired Army Colonel and a former member of the Arkansas State House of Representatives for District 40 where he served from 2012-2021. During his time in state government, House served on the Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee, Joint Budget Committee, Judiciary Committee, Joint Subcommittee on Administrative Rule and Regulation Review. House is a United States Veteran who served in the U.S. Army and Arkansas Army National Guard as an enlisted soldier, Infantry Officer and Judge Advocate. He served in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge. He also has professional experience as a private practice attorney and graduated from University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law in 1980.

Andy Davis, from Pulaski County, is a former member of the Arkansas State House of Representatives for District 31 where he served from 2013-2021. Davis served on the Joint Budget Committee, Revenue and Taxation Committee, and State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee among others. Davis is a Professional Engineer with Jack Tyler Engineering, Inc. where he works in business development. Davis earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Attorney General Rutledge Files Arkansas Works Brief with U.S. Supreme Court

Says, ‘Arkansas’s community-engagement requirements will help build a better future for Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed her brief in Arkansas’s U.S. Supreme Court case concerning Arkansas Works and a companion case concerning New Hampshire’s similar program. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments later in 2021. In this case, Rutledge seeks to defend Arkansas Works’ commonsense community-engagement requirements.

“I look forward to the U.S. Supreme Court hearing our case on why Arkansas’s community-engagement requirements will help build a better future for Arkansans," said Attorney General Rutledge. "Arkansas Works reaffirms Arkansas's commitment to improving the health of Arkansans and ensuring the Medicaid program is sustainable."

In 2018, the Trump administration granted a waiver allowing Arkansas to overhaul its eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Arkansas sought to add a requirement that able-bodied people without dependents had to either work or take part in educational or job-training programs for 80 hours a month to receive benefits. The Arkansas Works model is designed to encourage able-bodied Arkansans without dependents to transition into the workforce, while building stronger and more resilient connection with their communities.

In February 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision to vacate the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ approval of work requirements in Arkansas Works. Rutledge filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in July 2020 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review and uphold the Arkansas Works Medicaid demonstration project. The Court granted certiorari in December 2020.

The cases are Arkansas v. Gresham, No. 20-38, and Azar v. Gresham, No. 20-37.

Rutledge Leads Multi-State Coalition Supporting NRA

Says, ‘I stand committed to protecting the Constitution—particularly Arkansans’ right to bear arms’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is leading a coalition of 16 States that have filed an amicus brief supporting the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James. The NRA’s lawsuit seeks to block James’s politically motivated attempt in a separate lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, which is the country’s oldest civil rights organization and leading Second Amendment advocacy organization. New York hopes its lawsuit to dissolve the NRA will undermine Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

“New York’s lawsuit is a political stunt by a liberal attorney general who promised in her campaign to go after the NRA. It is designed to undermine our Second Amendment right,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Even if it makes me unpopular in places like New York, I stand committed to protecting the Constitution—particularly Arkansans’ right to bear arms. That is why I oppose the New York Attorney General’s political stunt and am proud to lead these 16 States in supporting the NRA’s lawsuit against New York. I repeat my invitation to the NRA: The Natural State would happily welcome an organization that fights for the Second Amendment rights of Arkansans and all Americans.”

In August, Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in New York state court seeking to dissolve the NRA. Separately, the District of Columbia Attorney General filed an action against the non-profit organization NRA Foundation, but the DC lawsuit tellingly did not seek dissolution.

Subsequently, the NRA responded by suing Attorney General James in New York federal court, claiming that her dissolution lawsuit violated the First Amendment by seeking to punish the NRA for its constitutionally protected Second Amendment advocacy.

Arkansas’s amicus brief supports the NRA’s federal-court lawsuit. Arkansas argues that James sought dissolution because she doesn’t like the NRA’s political advocacy, its members’ political views, and the organization’s defense of a fundamental constitutional right. The brief argues that New York’s lawsuit violates the First Amendment because it was designed to retaliate against the NRA and its members for these constitutionally-protected activities. The brief makes clear that state regulations of non-profits and charitable organizations are essential to protecting the public. But it also criticizes New York’s politically motivated enforcement of its regulations. Such regulations should never be used to attack a government official’s political opponents.

Arkansas is joined in the amicus brief by Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

Rutledge Joins 10 States Filing Lawsuit Against Google for Anticompetitive Practices and Deceptive Advertising

Says, ‘Google’s dominance and control over the digital advertising marketplace can no longer go unchecked’

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today she joined a multistate coalition of 10 states in a lawsuit against Google for multiple violations of Federal and State antitrust laws, including anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices, and deceptive misrepresentations in connection with its role in the multibillion-dollar online display advertising industry. Google’s monopolization of online display advertising includes an anticompetitive agreement with Facebook, misrepresenting customers, suppressing competition and harming consumers in violation of antitrust and consumer protection laws.

“Google’s dominance and control over the digital advertising marketplace can no longer go unchecked,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans should not be targeted by ad companies that pay the highest amount to pop up in a user’s search. Arkansans deserve to have the most helpful and reliable information at their fingertips.”

The internet revolutionized the way people consume content as well as the type of ads that companies can purchase to reach consumers, including online display ads. In addition to representing both the buyers and the sellers of online display advertising, Google competes directly against the buyers and sellers they separately represent, all while operating the largest exchange of these products. Google’s exchange trades in billions of ad impressions a day.

Today’s lawsuit alleges that Google monopolized, or attempted to monopolize, products and services used by advertisers and publishers in online display advertising. The complaint also alleges that Google engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts while selling, buying and auctioning online display ads. These anticompetitive and deceptive practices demonstrably harmed publishers’ abilities to monetize content, increased advertisers’ costs to advertise and directly harmed consumers.

January
29
Friday

Officer of the Year Luncheon

Benton Event Center
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2018 Officers of the YearAttorney General Leslie Rutledge will recognize outstanding law enforcement winners from each of the 75 counties in the state. Out of this amazing group, five regional winners will also be honored, and the statewide Officer of the Year will be announced.

Valor Tributes will also be presented to the families of fallen officers. This is rescheduled from the traditional date in October.

REGISTER

For more information, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

 11:00 AMVIEW 
February
17
Wednesday

Cyber Safety Education Series

REGISTER

This one-hour presentation for eduactors of students sixth grade and up will focus on the risks involved with the use of social media. In particular, we will discuss online predators and the sharing of inappropriate material.

Read more about internet safety.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
February
18
Thursday

FOIA webcast

Arkansas Freedom of Information Act
10 a.m. to noon

The webcast, which is free and open to the public, will include FOIA Made Simple presentations by attorneys in the Attorney General’s office detailing responsibilities and rights covered under the act that relate to public meetings and documents.

Two hours of CLE credit has been approved; the same CLEST credit is pending.
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Order copies of the 2020 handbook.

REGISTER

 10:00 AMVIEW 
February
24
Wednesday

Financial Literacy Webcast for Students

 10:00 AMVIEW 
March
2
Tuesday

Missing Persons Family Session

2021 Family Sharing Sessions

These sessions will be offered via Zoom from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2 -- REGISTER
Thursday, May 13 -- REGISTER
Tuesday, September 14 -- REGISTER
Thursday, December 2 -- REGISTER


For more information, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

Order copies of the Missing Adult Resource Guide online. Review missing persons resources.

 5:30 PMVIEW 
March
4
Thursday

Scams and Consumer Protection Webcast

10 to 11:30 a.m.
REGISTER

In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, this free webcast on scams and consumer protection is open to the public and will review resources, common scams and how to avoid them, and identity theft. The Consumer Protection Division represents and protects the State, its subdivisions, legitimate business community and Arkansas consumers.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation; 1.5 hours of CLE and CLEST credit is expected.

For questions regarding trainings, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
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