News ReleasesFilter  

Rutledge Issues Statement on Planned Parenthood Ruling

Rutledge Issues Statement on Planned Parenthood Ruling

Tue, Jul 31, 2018

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following the statement after U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker denied Planned Parenthood’s motion for preliminary injunction in Planned Parenthood Arkansas & Eastern Oklahoma v. Gillespie. That decision leaves in place Governor Asa Hutchinson’s decision terminating Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood.

“Yesterday’s ruling from Judge Baker ensures the integrity of our state’s resources by no longer allowing Planned Parenthood to use its patients to pad its bottom line on the backs of Arkansas taxpayers. I’ve strongly and successfully defended Governor Hutchinson’s decision to terminate the state’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood. It’s time for Planned Parenthood to identify other sources and no longer rely on taxpayer money."

Rutledge First Constitutional Officer to Have Given Birth While Holding Office

Rutledge First Constitutional Officer to Have Given Birth While Holding Office

Mon, Jul 30, 2018

Says, ‘daughter is an absolute blessing and gift from God’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and husband, Boyce Johnson, today announced the birth of their daughter, Julianna Carol Johnson. She was born July 27, 2018, weighing 5 pounds 15 ounces and 18.9 inches long. Julianna is the first child for the couple. The family is recovering well at home and is grateful for the outpouring of support.

“Boyce and I are bursting with joy over our new addition to the family,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The birth of our daughter is an absolute blessing and gift from God. Thank you to our family, friends, and all Arkansans for the outpouring of well wishes and prayers throughout my pregnancy. We appreciate Dr. Nancy Collins and all of the nurses and staff at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for their love, support and professionalism.”

Julianna Carol is named for her paternal grandmother’s middle name, Ann, and maternal grandmother’s and mother’s middle name, Carol.

Rutledge announced her pregnancy in April. In addition to being the first constitutional officer of Arkansas to give birth while holding office, Rutledge is also the first female and first Republican elected to the Office of Attorney General in Arkansas.

Rutledge Announces Successful Effort to Remove Unwashed Poppy Seeds from Online Retailers following AG Request

Rutledge Announces Successful Effort to Remove Unwashed Poppy Seeds from Online Retailers following AG Request

Fri, Jul 27, 2018

Says, ‘I will continue to educate and work with companies nationwide to stop the sale of these dangerous products’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that online sellers Bonanza and eBay have joined Walmart in banning the online sale of unwashed poppy seeds on their websites, as a direct response to the Attorney General Rutledge’s July 13 letter requesting their removal. Walmart had already taken action to no longer be part of the problem by removing unwashed poppy seeds from their shelves.

In May, Attorney General Rutledge released an Attorney General Alert warning consumers of the dangers of unwashed poppy seeds. Prior to that, Rutledge had met with Steve and Betty Hacala to hear the tragic story of their son, Stephen, who died from morphine intoxication after consuming so-called poppy seed tea made from unwashed poppy seeds.

“It is my duty as Attorney General to protect consumers from identified harmful products like unwashed poppy seeds,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The accessibility of lethal, unwashed poppy seeds for Arkansans is deeply concerning and is why I will continue to educate and work with companies nationwide to demand these products are removed from the shelves and banned from sale on websites. I am pleased that Walmart, eBay and Bonanza have acted quickly to ban the sale of these dangerous products. I am hopeful that Amazon, Etsy and other retailers will take action soon.”

Dr. Stephen Erickson a Forensic Pathologist at the Arkansas State Crime Lab partnered with Dr. Madeline Swartwood a Forensic Toxicologist and found that one particular bag of unwashed poppy seeds contained enough morphine to nearly fill a bottle of 100, 30-milligram morphine pills – the strength prescribed to a palliative bone cancer patient.

Settlement Reached with Medical Device Company

Settlement Reached with Medical Device Company

Thu, Jul 26, 2018

Arkansas to receive $140,611.56

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has joined a coalition of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government to settle allegations against Delaware-based medical device maker, Alere Inc. The allegations include that the company knowingly sold materially unreliable point-of-care diagnostic testing devices to hospitals. Alere will pay the federal government $33.2 million, of which $4.8 million will be paid to the participating states. Arkansas is set to receive $140,611.56.

“Alere not only cost government Medicaid programs money, the company put patients’ lives at risk by selling devices that gave false readings, despite receiving complaints about the accuracy of the equipment,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These acts are not acceptable and will not be tolerated as long as I am Attorney General of Arkansas. Patient safety should always be health care providers’ number one concern.”

Alere is accused of selling its Triage devices to hospitals, which are used in emergency departments for the diagnosis of acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, drug overdose and other serious conditions, from 2006 through 2012. Alere received multiple complaints from providers that “put it on notice that certain devices it sold produced erroneous results that had the potential to create false positives and false negatives that adversely affected clinical decision-making.” Despite those warnings, Alere failed to take corrective action until the Food and Drug Administration issued a national product recall in 2012. Because of this conduct, the states allege that between January 1, 2006 and June 12, 2012, Alere knowingly submitted or caused the submission of false or fraudulent claims for the Triage devices to be submitted to, or caused purchases by, Medicaid.

The settlement resolves a qui tam action originally filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland under the federal False Claims Act and various state false claims statutes.

A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the settlement negotiations with Alere on behalf of the partners.

Rutledge Sets August Mobile Office Locations

Rutledge Sets August Mobile Office Locations

Tue, Jul 24, 2018

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for August.

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and assisted nearly 1,000 Arkansans last year.

Rutledge believes in face-to-face conversations 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.

This year, the Cooperative Extension Service will be on hand at each mobile office to also provide information on the services it provides statewide.

Rutledge continues her partnership with local law enforcement across Arkansas to offer prescription drug take back boxes at each mobile office. Law enforcement will be at all mobile offices to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Rutledge encourages Arkansans to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit or call (501) 682-2007. Rutledge can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at

The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:

Randolph County

Thursday, August 2

10:30 a.m. – noon

Randolph County Cooperative Extension Service

2500 U.S. Hwy 62 W.

Pocahontas, AR 72455

Crawford County

Tuesday, August 7

10:30 a.m. – noon

Crawford County Cooperative Extension Service

105 Pointer Trail W.

Van Buren, AR 72956

Monroe County

Thursday, August 9

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Mid-Delta Senior Center – Clarendon Center

553 N. 7th Street

Clarendon, AR 72029

Little River County

Tuesday, August 14

10:30 a.m. – noon

Cossatot Community College – Barbara Horn Civic Center

1411 N. Constitution Ave.

Ashdown, AR 71822

Scott County

Thursday, August 16

10:30 a.m. – noon

Scott County Cooperative Extension Service

190 W. 1st Street

Waldron, AR 72958

Franklin County

Tuesday, August 21

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Franklin County Senior Center

222 N. Vine Street

Charleston, AR 72933

Union County

Thursday, August 23

10:30 a.m. – noon

Union County Cooperative Extension Service

307 American Road, Suite 101

El Dorado, AR 71730

Stone County

Tuesday, August 28

10:30 a.m. – noon

Stone County Cooperative Extension Service

205 Martin Street

Mountain View, AR 72560

Crittenden County

Thursday, August 30

10:30 a.m. – noon

Crittenden County Cooperative Extension Service

116 Center Street

Marion, AR 72364

Rutledge Announces Amanda Priest as Communications Director

Rutledge Announces Amanda Priest as Communications Director

Mon, Jul 23, 2018

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced Amanda Priest as Communications Director. Previously she was the Special Projects Coordinator for the Office.

“Amanda’s ability to effectively communicate to the public the complicated cases and issues handled by the Office on a daily basis combined with her extensive background working with rural communities has made her an invaluable member of my leadership team over the past year,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Like most military spouses, she has also adapted and embraced all that Arkansas has to offer, and I am proud to have her in this new role serving the people of Arkansas.”

Prior to her time in Arkansas, she was the Executive Director of Merced County Farm Bureau for six years leading farmers and ranchers on a variety of state and local issues related to educating, protecting and engaging farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley. She also worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“I could not be more honored to work for Attorney General Rutledge on behalf of Arkansans,” said Priest. “This past year has allowed me to dive into the diverse and dynamic work General Rutledge engages in throughout our State to go after criminals, con artists and an overreaching federal government. I look forward to working with General Rutledge to communicate her vision for the Office and educate Arkansans about the services available to them as well as the accomplishments made on their behalf to defend the State.”

Priest’s husband is an active duty C130 pilot assigned to the Little Rock Air Force Base. She holds a Master of Public Administration and Public Policy from American University and Bachelor of Science from Presbyterian College.

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