Rutledge, Uber Reach SettlementWed, Sep 26, 2018
Arkansas will receive more than $1.8 million
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that Arkansas, along with the 49 other states and the District of Columbia, have reached an agreement with California-based ride-sharing company Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) to address the company’s one-year delay in reporting a data breach to its affected drivers.
“Uber needs to ensure that it is taking every precaution to protect driver and customer data on its website and mobile app,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Data breaches can open consumers up to identity theft and have lasting negative impacts on an individual’s credit.”
Uber learned in November 2016 that hackers had gained access to personal information that Uber maintains about its drivers, including drivers’ license information for approximately 600,000 drivers nationwide, including 934 Arkansas drivers. Arkansas law requires Uber to notify affected residents, but Uber failed to report the breach in a timely manner, waiting until November 2017 to report it to affected residents.
As part of the nationwide settlement, Uber has agreed to pay $148 million to the states. Arkansas will receive $1,847,812.50. In addition, Uber has agreed to strengthen its corporate governance and data security practices to help prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
The settlement requires the company to:
- Comply with Arkansas data breach and consumer protection law regarding protecting Arkansas residents’ personal information and notifying them in the event of a data breach concerning their personal information.
- Take precautions to protect any user data Uber stores on third-party platforms.
- Use strong password policies for its employees to gain access to the Uber network.
- Develop and implement a strong overall data security policy for all data that Uber collects about its users, including assessing potential risks to the security of the data and implementing any additional security measures beyond what Uber is already doing to protect the data.
- Hire an outside qualified party to assess Uber’s data security efforts on a regular basis and draft a report with any recommended security improvements. Uber will implement any such security improvement recommendations.
- Develop and implement a corporate integrity program to ensure that Uber employees can bring any ethics concerns they have about any other Uber employees to the company, and that it will be heard.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in this multistate agreement with Uber.
Rutledge Welcomes Fall Law ClerksMon, Sep 24, 2018
Says ‘Law clerks are exposed to the fulfilling experience of public service’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge welcomed a new class of law clerks for the fall session to the Attorney General’s office. These law students work in various departments assisting with legal research, drafting memos and legal documents and accompanying lawyers at trials, client meetings and hearings.
“The law clerk program provides students an opportunity to experience a great service-learning environment,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Law clerks are exposed to the fulfilling experience of public service as they play a valuable role for the State, while also building relationships with some of Arkansas’s top attorneys.”
Michael Berry, a second-year student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) William H. Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Criminal Department. He graduated from Christin Brothers University in 2012 with a degree in English. Berry is from Sherwood, and graduated from Catholic High School for Boys in 2008.
Jonathan Hutto, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in secondary education in 2007, and from Arkansas Tech University with a Master’s degree in history in 2012. Hutto is from Damascus and graduated from South Side Bee Branch High School in 2003.
Austin Kempker, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. He graduated from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri in 2016 with a degree in political science. Kempker is from Jefferson City, Missouri, and graduated from Blair Oaks High School in Wardsville, Missouri in 2012.
Trent Minner, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the State Agencies Department. He graduated from John Brown University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in marketing. Minner is from Conway and graduated from Conway Christian School in 2011.
Rachel Moore, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Criminal Department. She graduated from Arkansas State University with a major in multimedia journalism in 2017. Moore is from Jonesboro and graduated from Jonesboro High School in 2013.
Alexis Pinkston, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Civil Department. She is also pursuing a Master of Public Service degree from the Clinton School of Public Service and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and English from Lyon College in 2015. Pinkston is from North Little Rock and graduated from North Little Rock High School in 2011.
Allison Tschiemer, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. She graduated from Hendrix College with a major in history in 2014. Tschiemer is from Dallas, Texas and graduated from School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas in 2010.
Chris Turansky, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. He graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, Louisiana with a degree in psychology in 2011, and Louisiana State University in Shreveport with a master’s degree in counseling psychology in 2013. Turansky is from Shreveport and graduated from Caddo Parish Magnet High School in 2007.
Jacob Wickliffe, a second-year student at the UA Little Rock Bowen School of Law, is clerking in the Civil Department. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 2016 with a degree in business management. Wickliffe is from North Little Rock and graduated from Catholic High School for Boys in 2012.
Rutledge Joins 11-State Push for Deeper Cuts in Opioid Pill ManufacturingFri, Sep 21, 2018
Says, ‘I am committed to an all-of-the-above approach that includes decreasing the number of opioids released into the system’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined an 11-state coalition calling on the federal government to implement sweeping reforms by accounting for the misuse of prescription painkillers and ultimately leading to the manufacturing of fewer opioid pills in 2019.
“Arkansas has been at the forefront of fighting the opioid epidemic,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This is a multi-faceted problem, and I am committed to an all-of-the-above approach that includes decreasing the number of opioids released into the system as one more way to fight this deadly epidemic. This reform, along with my educational Prescription for Life program, Arkansas’s lawsuit to hold opioid manufacturers accountable, and other statewide efforts will curb this crisis impacting families across our state and nation.”
Rutledge and her colleagues believe that despite current recommendations to reduce manufacturing rates, cuts should be deeper because the current proposed quotas remain excessive. The manufacturing rate should be determined based on information gathered by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has not yet accounted for illicit diversion and relevant input from states and federal agencies.
Much more can be accomplished by fully factoring in the results of the DEA’s new drug quota rule now.
The coalition contends further reduction in the supply of dangerous, addictive opioids is possible and would be of greater benefit to Arkansas, and the nation as a whole.
Fully implementing the reforms will require the DEA to consider relevant information from the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and relevant information obtained from states.
Arkansas joined the West Virginia-led filing with attorneys general from Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Utah.
Rutledge Sets October Mobile Office LocationsThu, Sep 20, 2018
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for October.
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 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.
The upcoming mobile office schedule is below:
Thursday, Oct. 4
10:30 a.m. – noon
Lawrence County Library
115 W. Walnut Street
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476
Tuesday, Oct. 9
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Glenwood Senior Activity Center
229 Betty Street
Glenwood, AR 71943
Thursday, Oct. 11
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Newton County Senior Activity and Wellness Center
100 E. Clark Street
Jasper, AR 72641
Tuesday, Oct. 16
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Dumas Public Library
120 E. Choctaw Street
Dumas, AR 71639
Thursday, Oct. 18
10:30 a.m. – noon
Sevier County Courthouse
115 N. 3rd Street
De Queen, AR 71832
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
University of Arkansas - Cossatot
183 College Dr.
De Queen, AR 71832
Rutledge Announces Prescription for Life MilestonesTue, Sep 18, 2018
Says, ‘we are seeing Prescription for Life making a real difference in students’ perception of opioid use’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a successful first year of providing Prescription for Life to Arkansas students. Launched last September, Prescription for Life is a first-in-the-nation educational tool offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse.
“I am pleased with the success of Prescription for Life’s inaugural year,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas has the highest prescription drug use by teenagers in the nation, and after this first year of the program, we are already seeing Prescription for Life making a real difference in students’ perception of opioid use. I look forward to watching this program expand across our state to educate teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and misuse.”
Prescription for Life has already reached over 8,000 students in 76 schools across 55 counties. Using an evidence-based public health approach, the digital course empowers high school students with the skills and knowledge they need to make safe and healthy decisions about prescription drugs. During the past year, students who experienced Prescription for Life showed a nearly 50 percent knowledge gain overall and displayed the highest knowledge growth in recognizing signs of potential abuse and misuse, and taking concrete action to help.
Rutledge is also collaborating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to coordinate a statewide viewing of the film “Chasing the Dragon” for students on Oct. 24 during Red Ribbon Week. “Chasing the Dragon” is a documentary produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration, which exposes the truth behind the opioid epidemic which is devastating communities in the State of Arkansas and across the United States. Rutledge encourages schools to register for the screenings, which features the true life stories and experiences of people who have dealt with the opioid epidemic.
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 self-paced modular course uses video, animations, simulations and interactivity to deliver a personalized, self-guided learning experience. The real-life simulations demonstrate the impact misuse can have on students’ physical and mental health, relationships and future goals while the scenario-based exercises help students practice how to support other students in their choices regarding the safe use of prescription drugs. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards and State academic standards.
Earlier this week, Rutledge announced she is partnering with Association of Arkansas Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League, Stericycle, Nationwide Insurance, Walmart and EverFi, to bring the National Safety Council’s opioid memorial to Fayetteville from Oct. 3 through 9.
In August, Rutledge announced a new initiative, called #Rx4LifeStories, to allow Arkansans to talk about how the nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted their lives and the lives of their families.
Rutledge is also suing the opioid manufacturers who created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act.
Each year, Rutledge partners with a number of agencies in hosting the Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit. The summit is a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. The seventh annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Hot Springs, with more than 800 taking advantage of early bird registration.
Rutledge also partners with federal and state agencies for the biannual National Take Back Day. Since 2016, more than 600 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at Attorney General Mobile Offices across Arkansas.
Rutledge Announces Three Arkansans Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud and Abuse of an Impaired PersonMon, Sep 17, 2018
Says, ‘I will continue to hold those people accountable’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the conviction of a northwest Arkansas woman on Medicaid fraud charges. A Pulaski County man and a Drew County man have also been convicted on abuse of an impaired person charges.
“Erin Oliver took advantage of a vital safety net for many Arkansans and Jimmie Bradley and Nicholas Stephens took advantage of a Medicaid recipient,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will continue to hold those people accountable who abuse the Medicaid system and its patients. I will aggressively pursue and prosecute individuals who have committed fraud involving the use or misuse of Medicaid resources.”
Erin Oliver pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud in Pulaski County Circuit Court. She was sentenced to pay $71,857.60 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund and $1,000 in fines and court costs.
Oliver, 40, of Springdale, pleaded guilty to one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class C felony, for billing for services not rendered and at rates higher than those set by state law.
The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General assisted with the investigation and an attorney with the Attorney General’s Office was sworn in as Special Deputy Prosecuting Attorney by Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.
Jimmie Bradley, 33, of Maumelle, and Nicholas Stephens, 33, of Monticello, both pleaded no contest to one count of abuse of an impaired person in Bradley County Circuit Court. Both men were sentenced to pay $500 in fines.
This case was referred to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit from the Office of Long Term Care. An attorney with the Attorney General’s Office was sworn in as Special Deputy Prosecuting Attorney by 10th Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen.
To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, complete the online form at ArkansasAG.gov, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or email email@example.com.