Rutledge Statement on the Passing of State Senator Greg StrandridgeThu, Nov 16, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement offering condolences on the passing of State Senator Greg Strandridge.
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of Sen. Greg Strandridge,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Greg was a friend, a fighter and a man of faith. Not a day went by when he was not working to help his community and even as he faced his difficult diagnosis, he was always a source of encouragement and inspiration. My prayers are with Karen, their children, his constituents in District 16 and his colleagues in the Arkansas State Senate.”
Rutledge Visits All 75 Counties for the Third Time in Three YearsThu, Nov 16, 2017
Held more than 230 roundtables with 2,200 participants
CONWAY – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has hosted roundtables in all of Arkansas’s 75 counties for three consecutive years. Yesterday she met with civil, education and faith-based leaders in Faulkner County to discuss local issues, as well as how to bolster the State’s economy, address the growing prescription drug epidemic, domestic violence, cyber crimes against children, internet safety and much more.
“Little Rock does not have all the answers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans want to know that those who represent them in the capital city are listening. Meeting with Arkansans from all over the state who have different specialties and experiences has given me great insight into the issues our communities are facing and how we work together to solve them. It is going to take all of us working together to keep growing our economy, educating consumers and saving lives from the prescription drug epidemic.”
Rutledge has hosted 232 roundtables with more than 2,200 participants since taking office in 2015. In her first year, Rutledge met with business and government leaders to discuss their needs and the services of the Attorney General’s office. Last year, Rutledge visited with local business owners and farmers who represented the largest economic driver in that particular county to learn about the regulations that were most burdensome to their ability to grow jobs.
In 2016, Senator John Boozman joined her for a Rutledge Roundtable in her hometown of Batesville, and this year she was joined in Independence County by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Rutledge credits launching Roundtables based on 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 Statement on News of Richard Cordray’s Resignation as Director of the CFPBWed, Nov 15, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement following news reports that Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will resign at the end of the month.
“The resignation of Richard Cordray from the CFPB is long overdue,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Director Cordray, an unelected and unaccountable bureaucrat, has led a vast and growing agency in imposing sweeping regulations with a blatant disregard for the rule of law. These overregulations have made it more difficult for Arkansas job creators and families by leaving them without options or capital. Bankers cannot bank. Lenders cannot lend. Borrowers cannot borrow. Not only is the CFPB structurally unconstitutional, but Americans expect accountability and for years Mr. Cordray has ignored attempts to reign in his agency.
“The Director’s resignation presents a tremendous opportunity for the President to appoint an individual who will implement much-needed reform. As Arkansas’s chief consumer advocate, I look forward to President Trump appointing a director who will also lead the agency to protect consumers from fraud while doing so within the confines of the law and guaranteeing access to a free and fair marketplace.”
Rutledge Announces Arrest of Two Men for Medicaid FraudWed, Nov 15, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of one Pulaski County Man and one Drew County man.
Nicholas Stephens, 32, of Monticello, was arrested by agents with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Bradley and Drew County Sheriff’s Departments, and transported to the Warren Police Department. He is charged with one count of adult abuse of an impaired person, a Class D felony. His bond was set at $3,000. He is accused of abusing an impaired adult residing at the Southeast Arkansas Human Development Center in August 2016.
Jimmie Bradley, 32, of Maumelle, was arrested by agents with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and transported to the Pulaski County Jail and later extradited to Bradley County. He is charged with one count of adult abuse of an impaired person, a Class D felony. His bond was set at $3,000. He is accused of abusing an impaired adult residing at the Southeast Arkansas Human Development Center in August 2016.
Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or email@example.com.
Rutledge: Western Union Claims Process Open for Fraud VictimsTue, Nov 14, 2017
$586 million fund available for victims of fraud
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says the claims process is open for those Arkansans who used Western Union’s wire transfer service to send money to third parties involved in schemes to defraud consumers.
“This fund seeks to compensate those Arkansans who were duped into sending money through Western Union,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “The anti-fraud program that Western Union developed earlier this year to help detect and prevent incidents where consumers use Western Union to wire money to scammers should slow the rate at which people are falling victim to these crimes. But Arkansans must stay vigilant in protecting themselves from these scammers because wire transfers cannot be tracked to be returned to the original sender if it is found to be a scam.”
Arkansans who reported to Western Union or the Attorney General’s office that they had been the victim of a scam using Western Union may receive a claim form in the mail. The form will contain instructions explaining how consumers may file their claim to receive compensation. Arkansans who do not receive a claim form in the mail but believe they may have an eligible claim can also visit WesternUnionRemission.com or call 1-844-319-2124 for more information on how to file a claim.
Completed forms must be mailed back to the settlement administrator by February 12, 2018. If you encounter difficulty in accessing the remissions website or are otherwise unable to file a claim, contact the Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982.
The multistate settlement between Rutledge, 48 other states, the District of Columbia and Western Union was first announced in January. Under an agreement reached between the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, Western Union agreed to pay $586 million to a fund administered by the Department of Justice’s Victim Asset Recovery Program to provide restitution to consumers who were victims of a fraud-induced wire transfer using Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017.
Rutledge reminds Arkansans that wire transfer scams are common and consumers should know who they are wiring money to and avoid wiring money to anyone outside the country.
Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit Held in Hot SpringsThu, Nov 9, 2017
More than 1,000 attend – a record
HOT SPRINGS – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today, along with the Arkansas Office of the Drug Director, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy and the Criminal Justice Institute, a division of the University of Arkansas System, hosted the sixth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
The Summit serves as a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators, and gives an opportunity to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment, and was attended by over 1,000 – a record.
“Prescription drug misuse and abuse continues to be one of the main issues concerning all Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This Summit is one more important avenue for those working to solve this crisis – medical and law enforcement professionals – to educate themselves about and identify new treatment and educational opportunities. There is no one solution, but there is one mission – saving lives. I am proud of the partnerships that have once again come together for this record-setting event.
“Solving substance use disorder issues is a complex and difficult issue to resolve,” said Director Lane. “It will require an ‘all hands on deck’ buy-in from every community. We must change society perception as well as the social norms to drug abuse issues. Being willing to change is key. The Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is a great tool to bring a diverse cross section of stakeholders to the table to get on the same page. It is designed to empower them through knowledge and education to make the difference and become their community leaders.”
The all-day Summit began with breakout sessions to promote safe opioid use in presentations by Dr. Tonya Robertson with Baptist Health Physician Partners, State Drug Director Kirk Lane and Dr. John C, Kirtley, executive director of the State Board of Pharmacy. Stan Jones with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency also discussed the use and abuse of heroin and fentanyl and Dr. Karen Farst with Arkansas Children’s Hospital presented the Arkansas Prevention Network awards.
Rutledge hosted today’s luncheon, which included the keynote address from Lane, who was appointed to the post earlier this year. Lane has been committed to combating prescription drug abuse on the state and federal level for many years. He plans to announce the results of the October 28 Prescription Drug Take Back Day during the luncheon.
The afternoon session included a presentation on medication assisted treatment from Dr. Michael Mancino with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Naloxone from Lane and Kirtley, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program from Program Director Denise Robertson and Program Epidemiologist Jonathan Aram as well as a presentation on the Prescription Drug Overdoes Grant from Dr. Cheryl May with the Criminal Justice Institute. Plenary sessions included the Arkansas Action Panel featuring May and Tenesha Barnes, early intervention and prevention manager with the Department of Human Services and Deborah Motley Bledsoe, substance abuse treatment director with the State Drug Director’s Office. A parent panel closed out the day.
Rutledge has brought a first-in-the-nation curriculum to Arkansas called Prescription for Life. Prescription for Life features a digital platform to help high school students in the State understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. The program is free to high schools and more information can be found at ArkansasAG.gov. The curriculum is part of the Attorney General’s already robust prescription drug abuse prevention initiative. During 2016, more than 330 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas and over 160 pounds have been collected since the beginning of 2017.
In addition to the Attorney General’s office, the Summit is sponsored by the Arkansas Alcohol Drug Coordinating Council, Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police, Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas Medical Board, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas National Guard Counterdrug Program, Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Arkansas Prevention Network, Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gulf Coast HIDTA, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foundation, University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSOUTH Center for Prevention and Training, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.