Rutledge Names New Leadership of Civil DepartmentMon, May 1, 2017
Selects Monty Baugh as deputy attorney general and Renae Hudson as senior assistant attorney general
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today named Monty Baugh of Little Rock as deputy attorney general for the Civil Department and Renae Hudson of Sherwood as senior assistant attorney general joining Christine Cryer of Little Rock and Colin Jorgensen of Little Rock in that leadership role.
“I am excited to welcome Monty Baugh as the deputy attorney general of the Civil Department,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Monty’s impressive background will bring a fresh perspective to the office, and I know his skills as a litigator will enhance the abilities of the top-notch attorneys who are already doing exceptional work. I also want to congratulate Renae Hudson as she joins Christine Cryer and Colin Jorgensen as senior assistant attorneys general in the department. These three, along with Monty, make a tremendous leadership team with years of experience.”
Baugh has spent time practicing in the areas of business law, commercial litigation, insurance defense and civil defense for county and municipal law enforcement agencies. Baugh began his law career clerking for former Justice Annabelle Clinton-Imber on the Arkansas Supreme Court and has been in private practice for over eight years, including six years as a solo practitioner. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Arkansas and is a licensed professional engineer, having practiced in that field for 17 years before his admission to the Arkansas Bar. Baugh earned a Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.
Hudson has been serving an assistant attorney general in the Civil Department since 2003 and also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Bowen School of Law where she teaches litigation skills. In addition, she serves as a faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy Training Program offering litigation training to attorneys from across the State. Hudson graduated with honors from Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a Juris Doctor from the Bowen School of Law.
Before joining the Attorney General’s office in 2004, Cryer spent three years in private practice representing insurance companies and their insureds in state and federal court, as well as claims before the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. She received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UA Little Rock and a Juris Doctor from the Bowen School of Law.
Jorgensen joined the staff in 2007 after having worked as an associate at the firm Wright Lindsey Jennings in Little Rock from 2004 to 2006. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in political science, he earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan.
Handling approximately 500 cases each year in state and federal courts, the Civil Department’s attorneys serve as counsel representing agencies, officials, boards and commissions when any are named as defendants in civil lawsuits. The lawyers also initiate lawsuits to protect the interests of the State.
Rutledge Statement on Court’s Suspension of Clean Power Plan LawsuitFri, Apr 28, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today following the decision from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to pause the lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called Clean Power Plan.
“Today’s decision to pause the lawsuit is another important step as the Trump administration works through the process of rolling back the unlawful Clean Power Plan. As Attorney General, I have been fighting this plan since I took office because it will dramatically increase energy costs on Arkansans, hurt job growth across our State and most importantly violates the rule of law. I continue to call on the EPA to work with the states and craft a plan that actually protects the environment and helps grow jobs.”
Rutledge is part of a bi-partisan coalition of 29 states and State agencies that have been involved in litigation against the EPA over this federal plan and requested the stay from the U.S. Supreme Court, which halted any State compliance until the full legality could be determined.
Rutledge, along with a bi-partisan group of attorneys general and state agencies from across the country, sent a letter to then President-elect Trump urging him to withdraw the plan. And earlier this year, Rutledge joined with other Republican attorneys general to send a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt calling for an end to the EPA’s era of federal overreach.
Rutledge Statement Following the Execution of Inmate Kenneth WilliamsThu, Apr 27, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following the execution by lethal injection of inmate Kenneth Williams.
“Tonight the rule of law was upheld as the family of Cecil Boren saw justice done. On October 3, 1999, Cecil was simply going about his daily life at his home near the Cummins Prison Unit when he was shot and killed by an escapee who was serving life imprisonment without parole for capital murder. I pray this lawful execution will bring closure and peace to the Boren family.”
Facts of the case and procedural history:
On October 3, 1999, three weeks after being convicted of capital murder and receiving a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, Kenneth Williams escaped from the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction. He escaped by hiding in a slop tank.
He shot and killed 57-year-old Cecil Boren a few miles outside the prison while stealing his truck, guns and numerous other items. Williams eventually was apprehended in Missouri after crashing the truck following a high-speed chase in which another motorist was killed.
A Lincoln County jury convicted Williams of the capital murder of Cecil Boren and sentenced him to death on August 30, 2000. The Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed his conviction on direct appeal in 2002. Thereafter, Williams filed a petition for post-conviction relief that was denied by the circuit court, and the denial was affirmed by the Arkansas Supreme Court on appeal. Williams also sought relief in a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed in federal court and it was denied. Williams unsuccessfully appealed the denial first to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rutledge: State Receives $50 Million in Tobacco Settlement FundsTue, Apr 25, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has secured the 2017 share of proceeds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) with tobacco companies. Nearly 20 years ago, 46 states and numerous other jurisdictions entered into a historic, multibillion dollar agreement to settle consumer-protection lawsuits for the costs that they had incurred for treating the negative health effects of smoking.
“It is critical for me to continue enforcing the terms of the MSA agreement with the various tobacco companies,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The money is used each year to conduct health care research, fund smoking cessation programs and improve the overall health of Arkansas residents. A large part of the money will also go to help fund the Arkansas Medicaid program, which is vital for some of our State’s most vulnerable families and children.”
This year’s disbursement of $50,523,025.47 brings the total amount received since 2001 to fund various public health programs in Arkansas to $947,255,651.
The MSA imposed health-related and advertising restrictions on tobacco companies. In addition, the agreement requires the settling manufacturers to make annual payments to the settling states. Arkansas received about $1.6 billion from the settlement, a portion of which is paid annually by the settling tobacco companies.
The Attorney General is tasked with enforcing the tobacco statutes that were enacted pursuant to the MSA. This enforcement includes operation of a certification process for tobacco wholesalers and manufacturers, ongoing quarterly and annual reporting, maintaining an Approved-For-Sale Directory, conducting audits, collection of escrow amounts and investigation or even litigation should violations of the tobacco statutes occur.
In 2000, Arkansas voters created the Tobacco Settlement Act, which governs how the funds received under the settlement are used. Payments are placed into the Tobacco Settlement Program Fund for later distribution to the programs supported by the settlement payments, including the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, an agricultural and medical research consortium; the Medicaid Expansion Program, which provides Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and increases hospital benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries; the Prevention and Cessation Program, which aims to reduce tobacco use; and the Targeted State Needs Program, which includes support for public health programs for minorities, older Arkansans and residents of rural areas and the Delta.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. She is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office. Since taking office, she has begun a Mobile Office program, a Military and Veterans Initiative, a Metal Theft Prevention program and a Cooperative Disability Investigations program. She has led efforts to teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge also serves as Vice Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association and re-established and co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture.
A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for Gov. Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and subsequently was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.
Rutledge Announces Mobile Office Locations for MayTue, Apr 25, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for May.
Attorney General Rutledge created the mobile office initiative during her first year in office to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. In both 2015 and 2016, office hours were held in all 75 counties assisting nearly 1,300 Arkansans.
The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues in filing consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will also be available to answer questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents. Rutledge believes there is no issue too small for her staff to have a face-to-face conversation.
Rutledge continues her partnership that began in 2016 with local law enforcement across the State to offer prescription drug take back boxes. 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:
Tuesday, May 2
10:30 a.m.- noon
Springdale Senior Center
203 Park St.
Springdale, AR 72764
Tuesday, May 9
Harrisburg Senior Life Center
300 Fairgrounds Road
Harrisburg, AR 72432
Thursday, May 11
Columbia County Nutrition Center
600 Lelia St.
Magnolia, AR 71753
Tuesday, May 16
Boone County Senior Activity and Wellness Center
1516 Rock Springs Road
Harrison, AR 72601
Wednesday, May 17
Lafayette County Senior Citizens Center – Stamps
228 Church St.
Stamps, AR 71860
Monday May 22
Leon Millsap Senior Activity Center
1301 E. 8th St.
Danville, AR 72833
Tuesday, May 23
Mount Ida Senior Activity Center
158 Senior Drive
Mount Ida, AR 71957
Tuesday, May 30
9:30 to 11 a.m.
Lightle Senior Center
2200 E. Moore Ave.
Searcy, AR 72143
Rutledge Statement Following the Execution of Inmate Marcel WilliamsMon, Apr 24, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following the execution by lethal injection of inmate Marcel Williams.
“After years of delay, Stacy Errickson’s family and friends have seen justice carried out for her brutal death on November 20, 1994. Stacy was a young mother of two when she was kidnapped, raped and strangled to death with the drawstring from the hood of her own jacket. I hope that tonight’s lawful execution brings much-needed peace to all of Stacy’s loved ones, particularly her now-adult children Brittany and Bryan.”
Facts of the case and procedural history:
Marcel Williams was convicted and sentenced to death in Pulaski County for the capital murder, kidnapping, rape, and aggravated robbery of Stacy Errickson. Stacy was a young mother of two – 4 year old Brittany and 7 month old Bryan. On the morning of November 20, 1994, Stacy left her children with a babysitter and headed to work at a pediatric clinic. On the way, she stopped at a gas station in Jacksonville to put gas in her car. As she was pumping gas, Marcel Williams pulled a gun on her, forced her into the passenger side of her car and drove her car around to several ATMs, making Stacy withdraw every cent she had. Eighteen transactions total were made. He then drove her to a storage unit facility where he brutally raped her. He relentlessly beat her and ultimately strangled her with the drawstring from the hood of her own jacket. He finally dumped her body in a shallow grave by the old smokestack in the Vestal Park area of North Little Rock. Over the next three days, he abducted and raped two other young women in the area. He told police Stacy was still alive, giving Stacy’s family false hope that she was still alive. Stacy’s decomposing body was found 16 days after Williams murdered her.
The Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed Williams’s convictions and death sentence on direct appeal. Thereafter, Williams filed a petition for post-conviction relief that was denied by the circuit court, and the denial was affirmed by the Arkansas Supreme Court on appeal. He next filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court, and the federal district court granted relief as to one claim. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, reversed the district court’s grant of relief, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the 8th Circuit’s decision. Williams next asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to recall its mandate, and Arkansas Supreme Court refused to do so. The U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision.