NewsEvents

‘Tiny House’ Contractor Faces Big Lawsuit

Rutledge files lawsuit on behalf of consumer complaints totaling more than $115,000 lost in unfinished homes

LITTLE ROCK – A “tiny house” contractor in Mountain View faces complaints by eight customers totaling more than $115,000 in unfinished homes and unreturned funds. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced multiple Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practice Act (ADTPA) violations against Scott Stewart and his company Slabtown Customs. Consumers claim Stewart demanded large deposits for custom-built homes and then failed to complete the work or refund the payments.

“No matter how ‘tiny’ the job is, contracts must be fairly followed and projects completed,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Families made an investment in their future that Stewart could not deliver. I don’t want another customer taken advantage of with the hopes and investment in a new home that never becomes a reality.”

Stewart’s work has been featured on HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters and FYI’s Tiny House Nation. He specializes in homes that are approximately 300 square feet and built on bumper pull trailers.

From 2012 to present, clients in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, New Mexico and Pennsylvania claim Stewart required large down payments and progress payments of up to two-thirds of the full purchase price. When the completion date passed, Stewart would often offer a refund that was never fulfilled. Some customers have been waiting for their money or house for more than 5 years. The lawsuit was filed in Pulaski County, Tuesday.

To submit a claim or learn more about consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982, email consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

Rutledge Thanks Veterans for Service to Country

Says, ‘I want to thank our veterans and their families for their service, commitment and sacrifice’

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement in recognition of Veterans for their service to the United States.

“America is the land of the free because of the brave men and women who for centuries have honorably served our country in war and peacetime,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas is home to 219,000 veterans. Today and always I want to thank our veterans and their families for their service, commitment and sacrifice to ensuring the United States has the greatest military ever seen in the world.”

Rutledge Joins Multistate T-Mobile/Sprint Settlement

U.S. Department of Justice’s Remedy to Expand 5G Network in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced joining the multistate settlement that approves the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. Arkansas joins the U.S. Department of Justice and eight other states in the settlement that will make Dish Network Corp. the fourth nationwide provider of retail mobile wireless services. In addition to protecting competition, the proposed settlement will expedite the availability of high-quality 5G networks for Arkansas consumers.

“Arkansans deserve to have a level playing field when paying for affordable and reliable access to internet and cell phone services,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This agreement will help connect customers in rural parts of our State to 5G networks which will boost education and economic opportunities while safeguarding the industry from anticompetitive practices.”

The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division along with nine states sued to block the transaction between T-Mobile and Sprint earlier this year and have agreed to settle the lawsuit based on the proposed settlement. If approved by the court, the settlement would resolve the Justice Department’s and the co-plaintiff states’ competitive concerns.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, T-Mobile and Sprint must divest Sprint’s prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint prepaid, to Dish. The proposed settlement also provides for the divestiture of certain spectrum assets to Dish. Additionally, T-Mobile and Sprint must make available to Dish at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. T-Mobile must also provide Dish with robust access to the T-Mobile network for a period of seven years while Dish builds out its own 5G network.

Arkansas joins Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota in this proposed settlement.

U.S. Senate Confirms Rutledge’s First Solicitor General as Federal District Judge

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed the judicial nomination of Lee Rudofsky to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

“As the Solicitor General in my office, Lee demonstrated daily his legal acumen, intellect, adherence to the original intent of the law, integrity and impartiality,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am confident he will be a fair and impartial jurist who will serve the people and our great nation well as a federal judge.”

In 2015, Rudofsky was hired by Attorney General Rutledge to be the first official Solicitor General in the Attorney General’s Office. In that role, he advised Attorney General Rutledge on several key proceedings, including defending the State’s decision to successfully terminate Medicaid program funding to Planned Parenthood. He organized a multistate, bipartisan and multimillion dollar lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court against the State of Delaware. He also successfully led litigation allowing the execution of convicted murderers by lethal injection. Rudofsky also implemented the office’s formal moot court program to prepare the State’s attorneys for argument and established a clear review process for appellate briefs written by other departments.

Rutledge: Opioid Awareness Public Service Announcement Launched

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statewide public service announcement (PSA) addressing the opioid epidemic that continues to devastate Arkansas. Rutledge has been a leader in the State and the nation combating the opioid epidemic by using a multifaceted approach of education, litigation, treatment and enforcement.

“Opioids kill hundreds of Arkansans every year tearing families apart and devastating communities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “On average there are 62 pills for every man, woman and child in the State. Together let’s educate everyone, enforce the laws and end this epidemic. After all, Arkansas is just one big small town.”

Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act. In April 2019, Rutledge filed a separate lawsuit against distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson Corporation and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation for violations of the ADTPA as well as for negligence, creation of a public nuisance and being unjustly enriched by their business practices.

On the educational front, Rutledge’s first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and has reached 69 counties and almost 17,000 students. On November 14, Attorney General Rutledge will host the eighth annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The free event provides training and educational opportunities for law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Attendees will hear from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who is keynoting the luncheon.

The public service announcement can be viewed on various networks and cable stations throughout the State and can be found on Rutledge’s YouTube page.

Arkansans who have questions can email the office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

Rutledge Reaches Almost 10,000 Arkansans in Their Communities

Says, ‘opportunity to have authentic face-to-face conversations with Arkansans in their hometowns’

EL DORADO – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today completed the final Rutledge Roundtable of 2019 with community leaders from Union County. The event concluded the fifth consecutive year Rutledge hosted roundtable meetings as well as mobile offices in all 75 counties around the State, connecting individually with nearly 10,000 Arkansans.

“Visiting all 75 counties yearly is an opportunity to have authentic face-to-face conversations with Arkansans in their hometowns,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Meeting people where they live helps to truly understand the many issues communities are facing, whether it’s the vaping epidemic in our schools, overcrowding in our prisons or regulations stifling economic growth.”

Since taking office in 2015, Rutledge has hosted 384 Roundtables with over 4,300 participants. Each meeting has included officials from local businesses, local and State government, farmers, faith leaders, educators and representatives from various other industries.

In addition to the Roundtables, Rutledge had a record year in 2019 with 2,232 Arkansans visiting an Attorney General Mobile Office throughout the State. The mobile office initiative was created in 2015 to provide a county-by-county location to personally assist consumers in filing consumer complaints and answer questions about the full range of services provided by the Attorney General’s Office. After the success of the initiative in 2015, Rutledge expanded to include Prescription Drug Take Back boxes during each visit. The office collaborates with local law enforcement agencies across the State to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Since the addition of this service, the boxes have allowed authorities to properly dispose of nearly 620 pounds of old or unused medications.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s Office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

November
14
Thursday

Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will host the eighth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The luncheon will feature a keynote address by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, chairman of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

The summit will include four breakout tracks: Clinical, Criminal Justice, Education/Prevention and Counseling/Recovery.

This is a free educational training opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Members of the general public may also attend and will have the opportunity to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.

In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Summit is being sponsored by the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Arkansas State Police, Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Office of the State Drug Director, Rotary Clubs of Arkansas, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Arkansas State Medical Board and the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSouth School of Social Work.

This event has been approved for 5 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and 6 hours of Law Enforcement Standards (CLEST).

Online registration closed November 4. However, you may register on site at the summit by visiting the help desk prior to 8:30 a.m.

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

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December
18
Wednesday

FOIA webcast

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

The webcast 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.

This webcast, which is free and open to the public, has been approved for two hours of law enforcement CLEST credit. Two hours for continuing legal education (CLE) credit is expected to be approved.

Register

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