Rutledge Visits All 75 Counties for Fourth Consecutive YearWed, Jun 6, 2018
Held more than 300 roundtables with more than 3,200 participants
TEXARKANA – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today held Rutledge Roundtables in Hope, Lewisville and Texarkana to wrap up the fourth consecutive year of holding roundtable discussions in all 75 counties in Arkansas.
“Having face-to-face conversations with Arkansans in their communities has allowed me to hear about the issues being faced each day in all four corners of the State,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Some issues, like the opioid epidemic, are widespread and felt across Arkansas. But other issues are more localized, and it is important for our communities to know that those who represent them in the capital city are listening. We all need to continue to work together to make a difference in our hometowns and State.”
Rutledge has hosted 306 roundtables with more than 3,200 participants since taking office in 2015. She has met with business and government leaders, along with local business owners, farmers, faith leaders, educators and many others to hear their concerns.
Rutledge was inspired to launch Rutledge Roundtables from a lesson she learned during college when she spent her summers in Independence County flagging traffic for the State highway department. Rutledge says, “I noticed there was sometimes a disconnect between people who worked in the office and those on the road. As Attorney General, I do not want there to be that same disconnect between those who work in the capital city and Arkansans who live in communities around our state.”
Rutledge Releases Statement on SCOTUS Ruling in Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights CommissionMon, Jun 4, 2018
LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement after the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Jack Phillips, a Denver baker who was attacked by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for declining to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
“As the Attorney General, I am proud to have joined this fight in support of Jack Phillips with Masterpiece Cake Shop because an individual’s religious freedom must be preserved and Americans such as Jack must be protected from religious discrimination,” said Rutledge. “Tolerance is a two-way street, and in this case, we found balance. Today’s decision is a big win for religious liberty across the country.”
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission last year. The owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, CO declined to bake a wedding cake for a local same-sex couple. Owner Jack Phillips indicated to the couple that he would be glad to make a birthday or graduation cake or a cake for any other occasion. But he could not, consistent with his religious views, design and create a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. Phillips’ refusal to design and create such a cake is consistent with his refusal to create cakes for Halloween or divorcee parties – events that his religious beliefs prevent him from supporting.
Rutledge joined a 20-state coalition in filing an amicus brief with the Court in September, calling on the court to protect the freedom of speech of the baker in Colorado.
Rutledge Announces Arrest of Izard County Man for Crimes Involving ChildrenFri, Jun 1, 2018
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of an Izard County man for crimes involving children.
Steven Eldridge, 63, of Melbourne, was arrested by the Attorney General’s office Cyber Crimes Unit on four counts of distributing, possessing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. He is currently being held on bond at the Izard County Detention Facility.
Special agents in the Attorney General’s office had previously seized multiple computers and external hard drives from the home. The file will be turned over to 16th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Holly Meyer when completed.
Rutledge Announces 7th Annual Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action EventWed, May 30, 2018
Registration is available for July 17 event in Benton
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will host the Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event on Tuesday, July 17 at the Benton Event Center. The event was established to raise awareness of the challenges associated with missing persons cases and recognize Arkansas’s missing children and adults.
“The Never Forgotten event brings these families together to remember their loved ones and provides law enforcement training to continue the search for our missing,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “There are numerous families across Arkansas who live every day with the pain of missing a loved one. Together, we can raise awareness because someone, somewhere has information about each of our missing loved ones.”
From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., a panel discussion will be held for the families of missing persons on available resources to assist them with locating their loved one. Participating agencies include Arkansas State Police, Arkansas State Crime Lab, Arkansas Crime Information Center, FBI, the Morgan Nick Foundation and others.
From 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., a law enforcement training will be held. Sarah Krebs, a detective sergeant-forensic artist with the Michigan State Police, will explain how her evidence-based drawings and three-dimensional reconstructions aid in the investigation of unidentified remains, the apprehension of suspects and the resolution of missing person cases.
Officers will also hear from Derek VanLuchene, a law enforcement consultant for Fox Valley Technical College and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and President and Founder of Ryan United. VanLuchene will present the case study of 4-year-old Maci Lilly, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and was abducted from a playground in Montana in February 2016. Maci’s disappearance led to a statewide Amber Alert and a successful recovery. He will discuss working with child witnesses and how to locate resources in an active search and recovery.
Rutledge will also host a luncheon, which will include a ceremony to honor families of missing children and adults and to recognize law enforcement officials who work to solve missing persons cases.
In 2016, Rutledge was part of a collaborative effort to launch a new website, NeverForgotten.ar.gov, which enables the public to access information on missing persons cases with an simple, searchable database.
Every service offered at the event is free.
Registration can be found at ArkansasAG.gov. The Attorney General’s office has applied for three hours of Continuing Law Enforcement Education (CLEST).
The Attorney General’s office serves as an information clearinghouse for reports on Arkansas’s missing children and acts as the main point of contact between the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and nonprofit missing children organizations in the State. For information about Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action, call (800) 448-3014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To reach the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber Tipline, call (800) THE-LOST (843-5678).
Rutledge Statement on SCOTUS Decision on Planned Parenthood v. JegleyTue, May 29, 2018
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement in response to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to deny certiorari in Planned Parenthood v. Jegley today.
“As Attorney General, I have fully defended this law at every turn and applaud the Supreme Court’s decision against Planned Parenthood today. Protecting the health and well-being of women and the unborn will always be a priority. We are a pro-life state and always will be as long as I am Attorney General.”
Rutledge Recognizes Memorial DayThu, May 24, 2018
Says, ‘I offer my heartfelt prayers and appreciation to the families of fallen soldiers across our state’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in observance of Memorial Day.
“Today we pause to remember the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. These individuals stood firm in protecting the United States and our freedoms. I offer my heartfelt prayers and appreciation to the families of fallen soldiers across our state as we honor their courage, devotion and sacrifice. Let us never forget our fallen heroes.”
Rutledge will attend the City of Maumelle’s annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial at Lake Willastein Park in Maumelle. The event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.