Rutledge Announces Izard County Man Sentenced to 60 Years for Possessing Child PornographyFri, Dec 21, 2018
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that an Izard County man has been sentenced to 60 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child pornography charges.
James Hix, 59, of Mount Pleasant, pleaded guilty to six counts of possessing, distributing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child.
“Hix exploited innocent children being victimized in the sickening images he had and shared from his computer,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We work closely with other law enforcement agencies to identify these criminals and remove them from the internet and our neighborhoods. Predators will be held accountable in Arkansas.”
In April 2018, Hix was arrested by the Attorney General’s office Cyber Crimes Unit where special agents seized multiple electronic devices from his residence. Deputy Attorney General Will Jones from the Attorney General’s office was appointed Special Deputy Prosecutor in the case by the 16th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Holly Meyer.
Rutledge Announces January Mobile Office ScheduleThu, Dec 20, 2018
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for January 2019.
Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans.
Rutledge believes face-to-face conversations are the best way to truly hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.
Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at her mobile offices.
For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge and on Twitter at twitter.com/AGRutledge.
The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:
Tuesday, Jan. 8
9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Grant County Cooperative Extension Service
202 W. Pine Street
Sheridan, AR 72150
Thursday, Jan. 10
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Perryville Senior Adult Center
107 North Magnolia Street
Perryville, AR 72126
Thursday, Jan. 17
10:30 a.m. to noon
TC Vaughan Senior Adult Center
706 N. Division Street
Morrilton, AR 72110
Tuesday, Jan. 22
noon to 1:30 p.m.
Lightle Senior Center
2200 E. Moore Ave.
Searcy, AR 72143
Thursday, Jan. 24
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Hamburg Senior Citizens Center
1406 N. Main Street
Hamburg, AR 71646
Tuesday, Jan. 29
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Des Arc Senior Center
1103 Main Street
Des Arc, AR 72040
Thursday, Jan. 31
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Arkadelphia Senior Adult Activity Center
1305 N. 10th Street
Arkadelphia, AR 71923
Rutledge Steps Up Fight Against RobocallsMon, Dec 17, 2018
Says, ‘Arkansans are frustrated and have asked me to eliminate these unwanted and unlawful calls’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she is leading a bipartisan coalition of 40 attorneys general to expand on her efforts to put an end to unyielding and potentially harmful robocalls. Participating states have been reviewing available technology that is currently under consideration by major telecom companies to assist in combating these illegal robocalls.
“As I travel across Arkansas, I consistently hear how Arkansans are troubled by the abusive and pesky robocalls by scammers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans are frustrated and have asked me to eliminate these unwanted and unlawful calls, which commonly lead to people being scammed out of thousands of dollars. This coalition is another step in the right direction as we work with telecom companies to end these types of calls.”
Since it was formed, the multi-state group has had in-depth meetings with several major telecom companies. These meetings have led to greater information sharing about the technological capabilities currently in existence or in development to fight these calls.
Attorney General Rutledge and her colleagues are working to:
- Develop a detailed understanding of what is technologically feasible to minimize unwanted robocalls and illegal telemarking
- Engage the major telecom companies to encourage them to expedite the best possible solutions for consumers
- Determine whether states should make further recommendations to the FCC
In addition to Arkansas, the group, led by Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont, also includes Alabama, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Rutledge Applauds Ruling That Obamacare is UnconstitutionalSat, Dec 15, 2018
Says, ‘without the individual mandate in place, Obamacare cannot be upheld and is unconstitutional’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge applauded U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas for agreeing with Arkansas, as part of a 20-state coalition, that the Affordable Care Act and its individual mandate are unconstitutional.
“The ruling is a big win for Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Without the individual mandate in place, Obamacare cannot be upheld and is unconstitutional. Now, it is time for Congress to increase options, lower costs and protect those with pre-existing conditions."
In February, the 20-state coalition filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, explaining that Congress rendered all of Obamacare unconstitutional by doing away with the tax penalty in Obamacare’s individual mandate when it enacted President Donald J. Trump’s tax overhaul.
In 2012, a majority of the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare against a constitutional challenge and held that the individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress’s Tax Power under Article I, § 8 of the U.S. Constitution. But a different majority also held that Congress did not have the power to create the Individual Mandate under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, also in Article I, § 8. As Chief Justice Roberts explained, and the four-justice dissent agreed, the Commerce Clause gives Congress to regulate commerce – but not to compel it, which is what the individual mandate does.
In 2017, Congress eliminated the tax portion of the Individual Mandate. Because of this, Judge O’Connor ruled that it was no longer valid under Congress’s Tax Power. Applying the Supreme Court’s 2012 holding that the individual mandate violated the Commerce Clause, Judge O’Connor struck it down as unconstitutional. He then ruled that Congress would not have passed Obamacare without the individual mandate because it was an essential part of the law. So he also invalidated the entire law.
In its current unlawful form, Obamacare imposes and transfers rising costs on Arkansans and transferred an enormous amount of regulatory power to the federal government. Around 70 percent of U.S. counties present citizens with a noncompetitive situation, having only one or two health insurers.
In addition to Arkansas, the coalition – led by Texas and Wisconsin – includes the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia, along with the governors of Maine and Mississippi.
Rutledge Asks Public Service Commission to Investigate Settlement that Would Accelerate the Closing of Power Plants and Affect Electric Rates for Most ArkansansThu, Dec 13, 2018
Says, ‘This settlement has not been properly vetted’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced she is asking the Arkansas Public Service Commission to review a pending settlement agreement between Entergy Arkansas LLC, the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association to determine if the settlement is in the public interest. The settlement agreement would require Entergy to speed up the closing of power plants that it co-owns with Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and number of municipally-owned electric utilities. The early closure of these plants could raise rates and affect service for over 1.2 million Arkansans served by Entergy and by electric cooperatives, as well as tens of thousands of customers served by municipal electric utilities.
Attorney General Rutledge has also petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas to intervene in the case as a representative of Arkansas utility ratepayers, to protect the interest of ratepayers and inform the federal court that Entergy’s actions should first be reviewed by state regulatory authorities.
“The terms of the settlement between Entergy and the Sierra Club will directly impact Arkansans’ utility bills,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This settlement has not been properly vetted by the Public Service Commission, my office or other agencies that have the public’s interest at heart. Because of the potential negative impacts on Arkansas citizens and businesses, I am seeking an investigation by Entergy’s state regulator, the PSC, and intervention in federal court to ensure that the State’s interest and those of its citizens and businesses are adequately protected.”
The complaint filed in Sierra Club v. Entergy alleges violation of the Clean Air Act at Independence Steam Electric Station and White Bluff Steam Election Station. The settlement agreement commits Entergy to a number of actions that would impact plant operations at both locations over the next decade. The costs of those actions will ultimately be borne by Arkansas utility ratepayers.
Rutledge Encourages Database Implementation to Prevent Identity TheftTue, Dec 11, 2018
Says, ‘Identity theft is a scary reality for all of us’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has joined with 42 other states and the National Association of Attorneys General to send a letter to the Social Security Administration asking the acting commissioner to prioritize the implementation of a congressionally approved new database system that will help combat synthetic identity theft.
“As the enforcer of Arkansas’s privacy laws, every day I see the damage done to Arkansans who have been the victims of identity theft,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am pleased to join with my colleagues from across the country urging the Social Security Administration to accelerate the creation of a database that will be used by financial institutions to verify the consumer’s information and prevent identity theft. Identity theft is a scary reality for all of us, but this is a simple solution to close a loop hole for Americans.”
“We ask you to evaluate and make necessary modifications to the Social Security Administration database and systems to comply promptly with this new provision of federal law. As enforcers of the data breach laws in our jurisdictions, we see the impact that exposure of Social Security numbers can have. Our residents lose thousands of dollars a year and suffer from ruined credit scores, as well as a general sense of anxiety regarding their identities,” the attorneys general wrote in the letter.
Earlier this year, Congress passed a law directing the Social Security Administration to develop a revamped database that will verify consumer information at the time it is requested, with consumer consent. The improved database will help address “synthetic identity theft,” in which identity thieves use real Social Security numbers, along with fictitious names and birthdates, to manufacture identities. As the current system does not allow financial institutions to check identity on a real-time basis, the new database system would protect vulnerable consumers by preventing identity theft earlier.