Attorneys General Rutledge and Miller to Co-Chair Newly Formed NAAG Agriculture CommitteeWed, Jun 24, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller today announced that they will co-chair the newly formed National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Agriculture Committee. Following last week’s NAAG Summer Meeting in San Diego, newly elected NAAG President South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley named Rutledge and Miller as co-chairs of the committee.
“Agriculture is vitally important to my State, adding more than $20 billion to our economy and making it the largest industry in Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is critically important for attorneys general who share a common goal of advocating for and protecting the agriculture industry and its participants to have a venue to collaborate and share new ideas. I am honored to join my colleague and friend, Attorney General Miller, in this effort to co-chair the new Agriculture Committee, and I appreciate the confidence of President Jackley in both of us to lead this committee.”
“Agriculture is constantly evolving. As State attorneys general we need to ensure that we work together on legal issues that impact farmers and, more broadly, the industry,” Attorney General Miller said. “I look forward to collaborating with Attorney General Rutledge and other colleagues who share an interest in agriculture.”
“The State attorneys general have always taken a proactive approach to recognizing issues that directly impact our States. The addition of the Agriculture Committee will allow us to address the 21st century legal challenges facing agriculture and our States common interests. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller have been tasked with the important responsibility of serving as co-chairs for this newly formed committee as strong leaders that are widely respected by their colleagues,” stated NAAG President Attorney General Jackley.
The full membership of the Agriculture Committee will be finalized in the coming weeks.
In addition to serving as the co-chair of the Agriculture Committee, Rutledge has also received the following committee assignments: Energy and Environment Committee, Federalism/Preemption Committee, Internet Safety/Cyber Privacy and Security Committee, and Veteran Affairs Committee.
“Along with co-chairing the Agriculture Committee, my other committee assignments will allow me the opportunity to represent the best interests of all Arkansans with my fellow attorneys general,” Rutledge continued. “I strongly believe in growing our energy production with an all-of-the-above approach and protecting our environment, but both must be done methodically and not through heavy handed regulations and orders that go beyond the scope of the federal government. At the same time, we must find new ways to protect our children from a growing cyber threat and safeguard consumers from what seems like a different security breach of personal data every day. Arkansans already know my commitment to our active duty service members and veterans, and I am excited to share what we are doing in Arkansas with my colleagues.”
NAAG was founded in 1907 to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions. The Association’s members are the 56 state and territorial attorneys general.
Rutledge Receives Patriot Award from Arkansas Employer Support of the Guard and ReserveTue, Jun 23, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today was presented with the Patriot Award by the Arkansas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a U.S. Department of Defense agency. The award is given in recognition of Rutledge’s extraordinary support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the Patriot Award from the Arkansas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Our military servicemen and servicewomen bring a great skill set and proven leadership to any workplace. I am grateful for the members of our armed forces who have chosen to spend their days serving the people of Arkansas in uniform and at the Attorney General’s Office.”
“The Patriot Award was created by the Arkansas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Rich Green, Arkansas ESGR. “Attorney General Rutledge was nominated for being highly supportive of the National Guard and Reserve by her Reserve Component employee, Colonel Marcus Hatley. Colonel Hatley has served in many demanding positions in the Reserve Forces. Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”
In April, Rutledge launched the first ever Military and Veterans Affairs Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office. This initiative seeks to assist active duty military, reservists, veterans and their families with consumer related issues, veterans courts, the Hiring Heroes program and many other collaborative efforts.
Also in April, Rutledge signed the Department of Defense Statement of Support certifying her commitment to the National Guard and Reserve and all those who serve in our Reserve Forces. The statement encourages the employment of Guardsman and Reservists across the State and in the Attorney General’s Office.
The ESGR was started in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of guardsmen and reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. For more information about ESGR Employer Outreach, visit ESGR.mil.
Rutledge Adds Certified Officers to Medicaid Fraud Control UnitFri, Jun 19, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has added sworn law enforcement officers to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, a first for the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.
Rutledge also announced that the new officers have made their first arrests. On Friday, June 5, Donna Roberson, 62, of Pine Bluff, was arrested on two counts of Medicaid Fraud, both Class B felonies, and Lucy Blackmon, 34, of Pine Bluff, was arrested on one count of Medicaid Fraud, a Class C felony. On Thursday, June 18, the officers arrested Quashonna Evans, 27, of Little Rock, on one count of Medicaid Fraud, a Class C felony.
“I am committed to fighting fraud and protecting Arkansas’s most vulnerable and making sure they receive the care they deserve, which is why I made it a priority to strengthen the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at the Attorney General’s Office by adding certified officers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These officers greatly enhance an already successful unit and its enforcement capabilities as it goes after those who violate our laws. They will not only help combat fraud but will also go after those who abuse and neglect Arkansans residing in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.”
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, under the leadership of Deputy Attorney General Lloyd Warford, investigates and prosecutes violations involving Medicaid providers and the abuse or neglect of nursing home residents.
Medicaid fraud occurs when Medicaid providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled.
Rutledge Welcomes Summer InternsMon, Jun 15, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has accepted 16 students from across the State into the Attorney General’s Office internship program.
“Internships are a vital part of higher education,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The real world experience these students will receive this summer will make them valuable employees, no matter their career choice, in the future. I look forward to watching these students grow and learn.”
Jacob Brown is a sophomore, studying mechanical engineering at the University of Arkansas. He is a native of Little Rock and graduated from LISA Academy in 2014. Brown is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Katherine Calaway graduated from Arkansas State University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and is currently attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She is a 2010 graduate of Valley View High School in Jonesboro. Calaway is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Crystal Carey will graduate this fall from College of the Ouachitas with an Associate of Applied Science degree in medical office administration, medical coding and medical billing. She is a 2001 graduate of Bismarck High School. Carey is working in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Courtney Cox grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later moved to Arkansas, where she joined the Arkansas Army National Guard. She is a business administration major at the University of Central Arkansas. Cox is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Claire Frueauff is a sophomore, majoring in political science at Hendrix College. She is a native of Little Rock and graduated from Parkview Arts and Science Magnet School in 2014. Frueauff is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Kelven Hadley, Pine Bluff, is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where he is studying political science. He is a 2014 graduate of Ridgway Christian Academy. Hadley is working in the Public Protection Department.
Meredith Herring, a 2013 graduate of Bryant High School, is a junior at the University of Central Arkansas, where she is studying political science. Herring is working in the Civil Department.
Hayden Hosto, Little Rock, is a sophomore, studying finance and international relations at Lehigh University. She graduated from Pulaski Academy in 2014. Hosto is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Wyatt Miller, a junior, is studying economics at the University of Arkansas. He is a Little Rock native and graduated from Catholic High School in 2013. Miller is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Bradley Neugent, a 2014 graduate of Bryant High School, is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas, where he is majoring in international relations and international security. He is working in the Public Protection Department.
Julio Olaya Jr. is a junior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he is studying economics and public policy. Growing up in Little Rock, he graduated from Pulaski Academy in 2013. Olaya is working in the Criminal Department.
Jasal Pothi, Sherwood, is studying English and politics at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He graduated from LISA Academy in 2014 and is a sophomore. Pothi is working in the Public Protection Department.
Jordan Preston, a 2012 graduate of Lakeside High School, is a senior at the University of Arkansas, where she is majoring in accounting. Preston is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Christopher Sparks, Berryville, is a senior majoring in print journalism at Arkansas Tech University. He is a 2011 graduate of Berryville High School. Sparks is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Jeremy Steuart grew up in Woodbridge, Virginia, and later moved to Texas, where he graduated from Cypress Ridge High School in 2012. He is a senior, studying political science at the University of Arkansas. Steuart is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Cara Tomlinson is a senior at Lyon College, where she is studying English and economics. She is from Searcy and graduated from Riverview High School in 2012. Tomlinson is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Rutledge Requests Intervention in Regional Haze Case after EPA Continually Rejects State Plans from ADEQThu, Jun 11, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement after submitting a motion to intervene in the case, Sierra Club v. McCarthy. Despite the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) submitting robust plans to combat regional haze, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze that fails to consider the best interests for Arkansas.
“This is a classic example of a ‘sue and settle’ case,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The EPA agreed to the demands of the Sierra Club without any real litigation of the issues and without input from the State. Recent data shows that visibility impairment is improving in Arkansas and this federal rule is unnecessary. It is my duty to protect Arkansans from rate increases that will negatively impact them and offer zero benefit to Arkansas beyond those proposed by the State Plans. I am confident the State will be granted intervention in this case. The EPA should put the interests of Arkansans far ahead of the Sierra Club’s political interests.”
The request for intervention follows Rutledge submitting public comments in response to a proposed consent decree in the case. The comments requested that the EPA withdraw the proposed settlement citing that the plan is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In the comments, Rutledge also said that the Sierra Club lacks standing to bring the suit, Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which gave rise to the settlement.
Rutledge is requesting intervention after the EPA held a public hearing in Arkansas on the proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze.
Rutledge Seeks Rehearing before Eighth Circuit on Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection ActWed, Jun 10, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement after filing a petition with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals asking for en banc rehearing to determine the constitutionality of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act.
“I have and will continue to be a strong advocate for the unborn,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act, which prohibits abortions after 12 weeks when a heartbeat is detected, was passed by lawmakers in 2013, and it is my duty to defend this law. I believe that the State’s appeal is entitled to a full hearing before the entire Eighth Circuit and not just a three-judge panel.”
A three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit issued a decision that affirmed federal District Judge Susan Webber Wright’s ruling that prohibiting abortions after 12 weeks gestation is unconstitutional. The Attorney General’s Office is requesting that the case be heard by the full membership of the Eighth Circuit.