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Rutledge Holds Capital Credit Solutions Accountable for Violation of Law

Rutledge Holds Capital Credit Solutions Accountable for Violation of Law

Tue, Oct 10, 2017

Says, ‘These false and misleading representations take advantage of consumers’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has held Florida-based Capital Credit Solutions Inc. and its owner Willie J. McKenzie accountable for false and misleading representations made to Arkansans in order to entice them to purchase credit repair services that are actually available for free.

“The Court found that Capital Credit Solutions used illegal and bogus tactics, seeking the business of Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These false and misleading representations take advantage of consumers, and these practices must be eliminated if this company is going to do business in Arkansas.”

Capital Credit Solutions was charged with $10,000 in civil penalties and more than $8,500 in attorney’s fees after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas found the business in violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act.

The primary business of Capital Credit Solutions is offering credit repair services to improve the credit history, credit score and credit ratings of consumers. However, the defendants misrepresented that they have the power to change a consumer’s credit report and then to guarantee those changes will continue to improve a consumer’s credit. This falsehood left Arkansans with the impression that the best way to fix their credit is to hire Capital Credit Solutions and that the longer they stay in the program the better the results will be. Defendants cannot legally remove accurate items from a credit report. All services offered by the defendants to dispute items appearing on a credit report are available free of charge to all consumers through each credit reporting agency.

Capital Credit Solutions also promoted its services by illegally placing signs with unapproved language in locations where permission has not been granted. Common locations included gas stations, convenience stores, strip malls and intersections adjacent to busy roadways.

Arkansans can learn how to protect themselves from credit repairs scams by visiting

Statement on EPA’s Decision to Begin Rollback of So-Called Clean Power Plan

Rutledge Statement on EPA’s Decision to Begin Rollback of So-Called Clean Power Plan

Mon, Oct 9, 2017

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement following the announcement from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt that he would sign a new rule on Tuesday to begin the roll back of the Obama-era so-called Clean Power Plan.

“The EPA, under new leadership, is putting common-sense, the environment and the American family ahead of a political agenda with the announced rollback of the so-called Clean Power Plan,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This plan was nothing short of illegal and would have led to significant energy rate hikes, hitting Arkansans directly in their pocketbooks – something no family or business owner can afford. By ending this plan, the EPA will hopefully return to the drawing board, seeking input from the states in order to craft a common sense, lawful rule that protects the environment and the American people.”

Rutledge is part of a bi-partisan coalition of 29 states and agencies that have been involved in litigation against the EPA over this federal plan. The coalition requested, and was granted an unprecedented, stay from the U.S. Supreme Court, halting any compliance until the full legality could be determined.

Rutledge also sent a letter to then President-elect Trump urging him to withdraw the plan. And earlier this year, the Arkansas Attorney General joined with other colleagues to send a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt calling for an end to the EPA’s era of federal overreach.

Rutledge Announces Arrest of Boone County Man for Crimes Involving Children

Rutledge Announces Arrest of Boone County Man for Crimes Involving Children

Thu, Oct 5, 2017

HARRISON – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of Jerome Allan Yester of Harrison on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony.

Yester, 74, was arrested by the Attorney General’s office Cyber Crimes Unit. He is being held in the Boone County Jail.

Special agents in the Attorney General’s office began investigating Yester after agents determined that someone using a computer at Yester’s address downloaded sexually explicit material involving children. The investigative file will be turned over to 14th Judicial District Prosecutor David Ethredge.

Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy Packer Officer of the Year

Rutledge Names Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy Packer Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

Tue, Oct 3, 2017

Recognizes regional winners and outstanding officer in each county

NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the annual awards and recognition luncheon at the 2017 Law Enforcement Summit at Camp Robinson, where she announced Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy Packer as the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Over 650 officers from across the State attended the summit, which is in its 15th year.

On Feb. 19, Deputy Packer was dispatched to a residence regarding an aggravated assault and theft. The suspect, who had recently been released from prison woke the homeowner, poking a knife in his face and demanding his truck keys. Once the suspect obtained the keys, he traveled to a second residence where he stole another vehicle. Upon locating the suspect at a third residence, Packer discovered the homeowner was being held hostage and had been severely assaulted. The suspect opened fire on the responding officers and Packer returned fire, resulting in the suspect’s death.

Packer was nominated by Sheriff Clinton Evans who said, “Packer not only possibly saved the homeowner’s life but also his fellow officers’ lives and prevented further injuries and crimes.”

“The courage Deputy Packer showed in the face of great danger to protect other officers and the community is remarkable,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The events in Las Vegas have tragically reminded us that our men and women who wear the badge run toward danger when we are running away from it. Deputy Packer exemplifies that courage as do all of our regional winners and each outstanding officer in all of Arkansas’s 75 counties. It is my honor to recognize many of our brave members of law enforcement today and thank them for their sacrifice.”

The other Regional Officers of the Year included: Sergeant Ronald Davidson, Benton Police Department, Central Region, for his work to confront a masked gunman at a local bank; Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts, Northeast Region, for his efforts to take down a meth lab; Trooper Christopher Aaron, Arkansas State Police, Southeast Region who helped save the life of an accidental shooting victim in Almyra; and Garland County Undersheriff Jason Lawrence, Southwest Region, who helped save a civilian contractor from exposure to carbon monoxide.

A list of the outstanding officer winners from each county can be found at the conclusion of this release.

Rutledge also presented VALOR tributes to those in the law enforcement community who tragically lost their lives while in the line of duty this past year. These tributes were presented to the families of Drew County Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Braden, Yell County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart, Miller County Sheriff’s Detention Deputy Lisa Mauldin and Newport Police Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford.

Rutledge gave special recognition to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence, who passed away in April.

Before today’s luncheon, the summit’s attendees heard from Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill about reform efforts to the criminal justice code and why that matters in the ongoing fight against the drug crisis. Hill is a former Indiana prosecutor and is in his first term as attorney general. Boston Transit Police Officer Dic Donohue who was grievously injured in April 2013 during a gun battle with two suspects who were later identified as the Boston Marathon bombers also spoke to attendees.

The summit will also include presentations this afternoon from the Attorney General’s office Legislative Director Cory Cox on changes to Arkansas law impacting the law enforcement community. AT&T Asset Protection Senior Investigator Peggy Fletcher and Arkansas Recycling Association General Counsel Walter Wright Jr. and Special Agent Stephen Svetz will speak about combating metal theft. The summit will conclude with a presentation from Deputy Attorney General Will Jones and Special Agent Chris Cone who will discuss forensic tools and techniques to combat cyber criminals.

County Officers of the Year

Arkansas County

Trooper Christopher Aaron, Arkansas State Police

Ashley County (TIE)

Chief Johnny Oliver, Hamburg Police Department

Chief Deputy Jim Stephens, Ashley County Sheriff’s Office

Baxter County

Corporal Jackie Stinnett, Arkansas State Police

Benton County

Corporal Kenneth Trimberger, Bentonville Police Department

Boone County

Corporal Jody Pendarvis, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Bradley County

Sheriff Herschel Tillman, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office

Calhoun County

Corporal Frank Remick, Arkansas State Police

Carroll County

Officer James Ross, Berryville Police Department

Chicot County

Sheriff Ronald Nichols, Chicot County Sheriff’s Office

Clark County

Corporal Joseph Paull, Arkadelphia Police Department

Clay County

Deputy Blaine McClung, Clay County Sheriff’s Office

Cleburne County

Wildlife Officer Jonathon Coats, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Cleveland County

Sheriff Jack Rodgers, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office

Columbia County

Deputy Glen Proctor, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

Conway County

Chief Deputy Alex Campbell, Conway County Sheriff’s Office

Craighead County

Deputy Josh Miller, Craighead County Sheriff’s Office

Crawford County

Corporal Roy Moomey, Arkansas State Police

Crittenden County

Sergeant Brent Bradley, West Memphis Police Department

Cross County

Sergeant Jay Thomas, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Dallas County

Corporal Richard Whitley, Arkansas State Police

Desha County

Officer Rose Weathers, Dumas Police Department

Drew County

School Resource Officer Wayne Wesson, Monticello Police Department

Faulkner County

Investigator Chad Meli, Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office

Franklin County

Corporal Rickey Denton, Arkansas State Police

Fulton County

Officer Barry Abney, Salem Police Department

Garland County

Undersheriff Jason Lawrence, Garland County Sheriff’s Office

Grant County

Deputy Joseph Scott, Grant County Sheriff’s Office

Greene County

Deputy Anthony Ganus and K- 9 “Dex”, Greene County Sheriff’s Office

Hempstead County

Chief Deputy T.P. “Mickey” Atkinson Jr., Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office

Hot Spring County

Trooper First Class Tim Callison, Arkansas State Police

Howard County

Sergeant Ray Gentry, Senior Special Agent John Rhone and Special Agent Corwin Battle

Arkansas State Police

Independence County

Investigator Johnny Byler, Independence County Sheriff’s Office

Izard County

Chief Deputy Earnie Blackley, Izard County Sheriff’s Office

Jackson County

Sergeant Kyle Whisenhunt, Newport Police Department

Jefferson County

Major Lafayette Woods Jr., Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Johnson County

Corporal Kenneth Kennedy, Clarksville Police Department

Lafayette County

Chief Jeff Black, Stamps Police Department

Lawrence County

Chief Deputy Tony Waldrupe, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office

Lee County

Officer James Wright, Marianna Police Department

Lincoln County

Officer Jeremy Simmons, Star City Police Department

Little River County

Captain Boyd Kennemore, Ashdown Police Department

Logan County

Chief Al Brown, Booneville Police Department

Lonoke County

Sergeant John Dodd II, Cabot Police Department

Madison County

Lieutenant Russell Alberts, Madison County Sheriff’s Office

Marion County

Deputy Billy Packer, Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Miller County

Corporal Randy McAdams and Officer Michael Bryan, Texarkana Police Department

Mississippi County

Assistant Chief Ricky Jefferson, Blytheville Police Department

Monroe County

Sergeant Brandy Quinn, Brinkley Police Department

Montgomery County

Sheriff David White, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Nevada County

Wildlife Officer Spencer Miller, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Newton County

Patrolman David Faught, Jasper Police Department

Ouachita County

Trooper Matthew Schanzlin, Arkansas State Police

Perry County

Lieutenant Bill Finley, Perry County Sheriff’s Office

Phillips County

Sergeant Carrie Woods, Phillips County Sheriff’s Office

Pike County

Chief Randy Lamb, Murfreesboro Police Department

Poinsett County

Trooper Jason Fagan, Arkansas State Police

Polk County

Chief Deputy Randy Jewell, Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Pope County

Lieutenant Jeffery Noyes, Pope County Sheriff’s Office

Prairie County

Sheriff Rick Hickman, Prairie County Sheriff’s Office

Pulaski County

Sergeant John Blackmon, Arkansas State Police

Randolph County

Wildlife Officer Jeff Dalton, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

St. Francis County

Officer Scott Samuelson, Forrest City Police Department

Saline County

Sergeant Ronald Davidson, Benton Police Department

Scott County

Trooper Mike Lance, Arkansas State Police

Searcy County

Officer Michael Patterson, Marshall Police Department

Sebastian County

Officer Steven Creek, Fort Smith Police Department

Sevier County

Deputy Chris Wolcott, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office

Sharp County

Sheriff Mark Counts, Sharp County Sheriff’s Office

Stone County

School Resource Officer Keenan Ray Glenn, Mountain View Police Department

Union County

Sergeant Christopher Wayne Lutman, El Dorado Police Department

Van Buren County

Sergeant Jay Murdock, Clinton Police Department

Washington County

Lieutenant Timothy Franklin, Fayetteville Police Department

White County

Corporal Jason Glisson, Arkansas State Police

Woodruff County

Corporal Kurt Ziegenhorn, Arkansas State Police

Yell County

Corporal Charles Phillips, Dardanelle Police Department

Brian Bowen Deputy Attorney General of State Agencies

Rutledge Names Brian Bowen as Deputy Attorney General of State Agencies

Mon, Oct 2, 2017

Says, ‘Brian is an exceptional attorney, and I am excited to welcome him as a new deputy attorney general’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today named Brian Bowen of Little Rock as deputy attorney general for the State Agencies Department.

“Brian is an exceptional attorney, and I am excited to welcome him as a new deputy attorney general,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Brian brings tremendous knowledge from his previous experience in state government. Not only will he be able to assist with rule promulgation, Freedom of Information Act compliance and the interpretation of laws passed by the General Assembly, but he has a clear understanding of what the many state agencies need in order to do their jobs more efficiently.”

Bowen is a Hendrix College graduate and received his juris doctor from the University of Arkansas William H. Bowen School Of Law. Bowen joins the Attorney General’s office from the Arkansas Department of Human Services where he most recently served as the Chief of Staff for the Director. He has also been an Assistant Director for the Division of Aging and Adult Services and an attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel for the department. Prior to joining the Department of Human Services, he was in private practice in the Little Rock area.

Attorneys in the State Agencies Department provide legal representation to the more than 200 State agencies, boards, commissions, two-year colleges and other entities. Agency attorneys provide counsel, as well as assist their client agencies with promulgating rules and regulations, complying with the Freedom of Information Act, resolving personnel disputes and interpreting laws passed by the Arkansas General Assembly.

Rutledge Joins Coalition Supporting Elimination of WOTUS Rule

Rutledge Joins Coalition Supporting Elimination of WOTUS Rule

Mon, Oct 2, 2017

Letter encourages the preservation of the states’ role in protecting water resources

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined a 25-state coalition in filing comments with the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of language to permanently rescind the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

The comment letter from Rutledge is part of the EPA’s ongoing review of the WOTUS rule as directed by President Donald Trump. The letter encourages the preservation of the states’ role in protecting water resources by fully eliminating the Obama-era rule and enforcing the pre-existing definition of WOTUS until more concise, lawful language can be adopted.

“The WOTUS rule was never about protecting our water in a responsible way,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Instead it was about forcing an overreaching political agenda on our farmers and ranchers – who are the first conservationist – and forcing them to cede large portions of land to the federal government. I encourage the EPA to move forward with the full repeal of this rule.”

Rutledge was part of a coalition that helped secure a nationwide injunction in August 2015, blocking enforcement of the rule, which allowed the new administration to review the rule.

Rutledge testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in March 2015 urging the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the rule because of the negative impact it would have on Arkansas farmers. In 2012, agriculture added $20.1 billion to the Arkansas economy, according to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

The rule was issued in June 2015 and allowed the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to assert federal authority over a vast number of small bodies of water, roadside ditches, short-lived streams and any other area where water may flow once every 100 years.

Rutledge signed the letter along with her the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

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