Rutledge Comments on Status of Executions in ArkansasFri, Oct 9, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement in response to the decision from Judge Wendell Griffen granting a temporary restraining order of the scheduled executions in Arkansas until a preliminary injunction hearing can be held.
“It is unfortunate that once again justice is being delayed for the victims of the crimes committed by the death-row prisoners who filed this lawsuit. These delays have gone on for far too long. I respectfully disagree with the Court’s decision not to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the prisoners and to delay their executions. I will continue to fight for the victims of these murders and their grieving families.”
Attorney General’s Office Achieves New MilestoneThu, Oct 8, 2015
ASH FLAT – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that since launching the mobile office initiative in May, her office has achieved a new milestone by holding office hours in all 75 counties for the first time. Rutledge also announced times and locations for upcoming mobile offices in each congressional district.
Rutledge joined her team helping Arkansans at the mobile office in Ash Flat in Sharp County. Rutledge also stopped by the mobile office in Batesville, her hometown, earlier today.
“I launched mobile offices because you should not have to get on the Internet, pick up the phone or drive to an office building in Little Rock to meet with a member of my staff,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I could not be more proud of the work my staff has done to assist Arkansans in all 75 counties. When I was a college student, I spent summers back home in Independence County flagging traffic for the Arkansas Highway Department. As a flagger, I quickly noticed that sometimes what the engineers in Little Rock sent to the crews on the highway did not always work the way Little Rock expected. That same type of disconnect sometimes occurs between elected officials in the State Capitol and Arkansans across the State, but through initiatives like mobile offices, I plan to stay connected with Arkansans.”
Rutledge created the mobile office initiative so that her office and staff would be accessible to everyone, not just those who call the capital city home.
Attorney General Mobile Offices assist consumers in filing consumer complaints and answer questions about the full range of services provided by the Attorney General’s Office.
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.
Upcoming Attorney General Mobile Office schedule:
Baxter County Mobile Office
Monday, Oct. 12
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Van Matre Senior Center
1101 Spring St.
Mountain Home, AR 72653
White County Mobile Office
Tuesday, Oct. 20
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Lightle Senior Center
2200 E. Moore Ave.
Rutledge Announces Medicaid Fraud Arrest of Pulaski County ManThu, Oct 8, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of a Pulaski County man by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Myron Thrash, 35, of Little Rock was arrested on one count of Medicaid fraud. Thrash was booked into the Pulaski County Jail where he is being held on a $2,500 bond. He is accused of billing for services not rendered between December 2012 and March 2013, totaling $846, a Class C felony.
Medicaid fraud occurs when Medicaid providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled.
Rutledge Honors 2015 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officers of the YearWed, Oct 7, 2015
NORTH LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the annual awards and recognition luncheon at the 2015 Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit at Camp Robinson. The Summit, in its 13th year, had a record 600 officers from across the State registered to attend over two days.
Rutledge announced today that Sergeant Ben Sisk and Officer Billy Williams of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have been named 2015 Officers of the Year. Sisk and Williams joined other law enforcement officers honored for going above and beyond the call of duty.
“It is my distinct honor to recognize the heroic efforts of Sergeant Sisk and Officer Williams and award them the 2015 Arkansas Officers of the Year award,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The bravery these two gentlemen showed helped save lives, and for that we are all grateful. It is also my privilege to honor the courage and commitment of each of the district winners. Thank you to all of Arkansas’s law enforcement officers who work hard every day and put themselves in harm’s way to protect and serve their neighbors.”
Sisk and Williams immediately went into action to save the lives of three individuals who were stuck in a pontoon boat near a flood gate on the Arkansas River. The officers began to lose control of the boat as they approached the dam. After several unsuccessful attempts to pull out the occupants, Sisk requested that the open gates be closed to rescue the boaters. Although they only had a two-minute window to rescue the occupants before water would come rushing over the dam, Sisk and Williams safely towed the pontoon to the bank.
Also during the ceremony, Rutledge presented a VALOR tribute to the widow of the late Reserve Deputy Sonny Smith of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Smith was shot and killed as he and other deputies searched for a burglary suspect in a rural area of Johnson County in May 2015.
Rutledge also presented a K9 VALOR tribute to K9 Titus and his handler Jason Farmer of the Little Rock Police Department. K9 Titus died as a result of heat exhaustion following a lengthy track down of a subject wanted for stealing items from vehicles.
In addition to these recognitions, four other officers from each congressional district were honored for their heroic efforts:
District 1: Corporal Victor Coleman of the Arkansas State Police. Coleman is known nationally and throughout the criminal interdiction community for his hard work and expertise in removing large quantities of narcotics and other illegal substances from the highways.
District 2: Detective Christian Sterka of the Little Rock Police Department. Each year Sterka sets a goal for himself to exceed the previous years’ fugitive arrests. In 2014, his goal was to exceed 176 arrests, and he was successful in assisting in the capture of 195 fugitives.
District 3: Officer Grant Hall of the Lowell Police Department. Hall responded to a vehicle crash in Northwest Arkansas on July 23, 2015. There were no injuries, but one of the individuals involved in the crash had flown in from Louisiana to visit her dying sister in Mountain Home one last time. Hall took care of Corbin at the scene and personally drove her to her family.
District 4: Investigator Gary Don Dorman of the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office. Dorman entered swift water of Pate Creek to rescue a driver trapped in his vehicle before the vehicle sank to the bottom.
In addition to today’s luncheon, the Summit also included presentations from three nationally renowned presenters:
Wichita Police Department Detective Tim Relph was a lead investigator in the task force that arrested Dennis Rader, the man better known as the BTK killer, the serial killer who murdered 10 people in and around Wichita between 1974 and 1991. Relph chronicled the timeline of events, tracking BTK’s history over three decades and will expound on the methods used to ultimately arrest Rader.
Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol was selected by Gov. Jay Nixon to coordinate law enforcement agencies amid the Ferguson Police response to protests following Michael Brown's death in 2014. After Johnson was appointed, highway patrol officers — wearing no SWAT gear — arrived in Ferguson less than a week after the shooting that prompted rioting. Cheers greeted Johnson when he told the crowd that he and his officers were "going to march with you."
Lt. Brian Murphy of the Oak Creek Police Department in Wisconsin was the first officer on the scene on Aug. 5, 2012, after Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple. Page shot Murphy 15 times at close range. Remarkably, Murphy was discharged from the hospital less than three weeks later and eventually returned to full duty. He recently retired and was awarded the Medal of Valor by Vice President Joe Biden in February.
Rutledge asks U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection ActTue, Oct 6, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act. Rutledge announced her intention to petition the Court on Sept. 23.
“As the State argues in its petition to the Court, I believe that certiorari should be granted to allow the Court to revisit and overturn the arbitrary viability rule,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas and other States should be allowed to advance their profound interests in defending the life of the unborn, which is exactly what the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act accomplishes.”
The Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act prohibits abortions after 12 weeks of gestation when a heartbeat is detected.
Rutledge’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court comes after a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that affirmed U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright’s ruling that prohibiting abortions after 12 weeks of gestation is unconstitutional. The Attorney General’s Office requested a rehearing of the case before the full membership of the 8th Circuit, but rehearing was denied.
For a copy of the petition, click here.
Rutledge Reacts to EPA’s Implementation of Ozone RuleFri, Oct 2, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today following the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to issue its final rule that will lower the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion.
“I am disappointed by the EPA's decision to move forward with its new ozone standards,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These standards will impact future economic growth in States like Arkansas. As I have done with EPA’s other power grabs, I plan to join other States to challenge this rule’s implementation.”
In March, Attorney General Rutledge joined with 13 other States in submitting comments in a letter to the EPA explaining the harmful, negative impact the rule would have on States across the country. Attorney General Rutledge also filed her own comment letter criticizing the proposed rule.
The current level of 75 parts per billion was set in 2008. Rutledge points out in the letter that while the Clean Air Act does require the EPA to review the standards every five years, the law does not require the standard be lowered every time it is reviewed.
“So long as the standard is protective of human health and the environment, it can remain unchanged,” Attorney General Rutledge wrote.