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Rutledge Highlights Outstanding Law Enforcement at Annual Awards Ceremony

Rutledge Highlights Outstanding Law Enforcement at Annual Awards Ceremony

Fri, Jan 29, 2021

Recognized Fayetteville Police Officers as Law Enforcement Officers of the Year

BENTON – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge hosted today the 2020 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Luncheon at the Benton Event Center, where she announced Fayetteville Police Department’s Sergeant James Jennings, Corporal Seay-Peter Floyd, and Officer Natalie Eucce as the Law Enforcement Officers of the Year. Following Arkansas Health Department guidelines, law enforcement from across the State attended the 18th annual awards ceremony honoring an outstanding law enforcement official from each of Arkansas’s 75 counties.

“Every day law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect their communities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “In Arkansas, we will always back the blue.”

The 2020 Law Enforcement Officers of the Year recipients, Sergeant James Jennings, Corporal Seay-Peter Floyd, and Officer Natalie Eucce, were recognized for an incident that occurred on December 7, 2019, when Officer Stephen Carr was sitting in his patrol unit outside of the Fayetteville Police Department. Officer Carr was waiting on his partner, Natalie Eucce, who was inside the police department speaking with one of her supervisors, Sergeant James Jennings. A suspect approached from the rear of Officer Carr’s patrol vehicle and without provocation or warning, shot Officer Carr.

Corporal Seay Floyd was inside the police department and heard the shots being fired in the parking lot. Corporal Floyd looked out the window and observed the suspect shooting at Officer Carr’s vehicle as he walked through the parking lot. Without hesitation and with no regard for his own safety, Corporal Floyd immediately exited the police department and confronted the armed suspect. Corporal Floyd fired his handgun at the suspect as the suspect moved to a position of cover.

Officer Eucce and Sergeant Jennings also heard the shots being fired. They immediately responded to assist Corporal Floyd. All three officers ran towards the threat to engage the suspect. The suspect hid in a dark alleyway alongside the police department. The three officers moved with precision and sound tactics which gave them a tactical advantage when they located the suspect hiding in the alleyway. The suspect emerged from the alleyway and advanced on the officers still armed. Corporal Floyd and Officer Eucce fired striking the suspect multiple times. They then attempted life saving measures but the suspect died at the scene. Other responding officers attempted life saving measures on Officer Carr, however, he succumbed to his injuries and died at the scene.

Chief Reynolds states, “Valor is defined in part as ‘great courage in the face of danger.’ Sergeant Jennings, Corporal Floyd and Officer Eucce exemplified this definition on the night of December 7, 2019. With no regard for their own safety, they moved into the line of fire, located and stopped a murderer before he could stop anyone else. If it had not been for their bravery, courage and valor, many more lives may have been lost.”

Regional Officers of the Year recognized during the luncheon included: Searcy Police Officer Burnis “BJ” Rouse, Little Rock Police Detective Troy Dillard, Arkansas State Police Corporal Andrew Ault, Star City Police Department Sergeant Ben Reeves and Officer John Fallis.

Rutledge also presented a VALOR tribute, which is given in honor of members of the law enforcement community who tragically lost their lives while in the line of duty this past year. This year’s tribute was presented to the family of eight law enforcement officials who lost their lives.

County Officers of the Year

Arkansas County

Corporal Billy McCradic, Arkansas State Police

Ashley County

Trooper Charles (Ross) Allen, Arkansas State Police

Baxter County

Special Agent Jackie Stinnett, Arkansas State Police

Benton County

Chief Stephen Grizzle, Decatur Police Department

Boone County

Special Agent Buster Rinks, Arkansas State Police

Bradley County

Corporal Sammy Norris, Arkansas State Police

Calhoun County

Trooper First Class Wade Schanzlin, Arkansas State Police

Carroll County

Corporal Jeff Ricketts, Arkansas State Police

Chicot County

Corporal David Tumey, Arkansas State Police

Clark County

Corporal William Summerville, Arkansas State Police

Clay County

Sergeant Ashley Vaughn, Corning Police Department

Cleburne County

Wildlife Officer Briston Gould, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Cleveland County

Corporal Greg Rowland, Arkansas State Police

Columbia County

Trooper First Class Brent Walker, Arkansas State Police

Conway County

Corporal Josh Howard, Morrilton Police Department

Craighead County

Officer Kaitlyn Inouye, Jonesboro Police Department

Crawford County

Trooper First Class Chris Short, Arkansas State Police

Crittenden County

Sergeant Stephanie Soimis, Arkansas Department of Community Correction

Cross County

Trooper Tanner Hess, Arkansas State Police

Dallas County

Trooper Jimmy Pyler Jr., Arkansas State Police

Desha County

Corporal Scott Rosegrant, Arkansas State Police

Drew County

Trooper Tyler Gentry, Arkansas State Police

Faulkner County

Special Agent Gregg Bray, Arkansas State Police

Franklin County

Lieutenant Ben Sisk and Wildlife Officer Kirk Turner, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Fulton County

Corporal Jason Hooks, Arkansas State Police

Garland County

Corporal Andrew Ault, Arkansas State Police

Grant County

Corporal David Forthman, Arkansas State Police

Greene County

Trooper First Class Chris Davenport, Arkansas State Police

Hempstead County

TIE

Corporal Corwin Battle, Arkansas State Police

Corporal David Hamilton, Arkansas State Police

Hot Spring County

TIE

Corporal Christopher Garner, Arkansas State Police

Corporal Tomisha Ivory, Arkansas Department of Correction

Howard County

Corporal Kyle Jones, Arkansas State Police

Independence County

Deputy Jordan Harder and Deputy Bobby Tate, Independence County Sheriff’s Office

Izard County

Sergeant Kyle Moody, Arkansas Department of Correction

Jackson County

Trooper Marcus Simpson, Arkansas State Police

Jefferson County

Corporal Huston Talley, Arkansas State Police

Johnson County

Lieutenant Arron Arnold, Clarksville Police Department

Lafayette County

Deputy Kris Carr, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office

Lawrence County

Corporal Anthony Dail, Arkansas State Police

Lee County

Trooper Jake Price, Arkansas State Police

Lincoln County

Sergeant Ben Reeves and Officer John Fallis, Star City Police Department

Little River County

Wildlife Officer Cody Standifer, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Logan County

Lieutenant Thurman K Lunsford, Logan County Sheriff’s Office

Lonoke County

Corporal Jason Dooley, Arkansas State Police

Madison County

Special Agent Eric Lee, Arkansas State Police

Marion County

Corporal Tim Davenport, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Miller County

Captain Lillie Phillips, Arkansas Department of Correction

Mississippi County

Captain Andre Harris, Arkansas Department of Community Correction

Monroe County

Trooper Justin Williams, Arkansas State Police

Montgomery County

Corporal James Avant, Arkansas State Police

Nevada County

Wildlife Officer Spencer Miller, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Newton County

Senior Corporal Mike Thomas, Arkansas State Police

Ouachita County

Corporal Larry McMahen, Arkansas State Police

Perry County

Chief Bill Sneed, Perry Police Department

Phillips County

Lieutenant John E. Harris, Phillips County Sheriff’s Office

Pike County

Lieutenant Wayne Epperly, Pike County Sheriff’s Office

Poinsett County

Trooper Tommy Fitzgerald, Arkansas State Police

Polk County

Trooper First Class Bo Hayes, Arkansas State Police

Pope County

Trooper First Class Deston Linkous and Corporal Steven C. Magness, Arkansas State Police

Prairie County

Special Agent Jason Martin and Sergeant Randall Murphy, Arkansas State Police

Pulaski County

Detective Troy Dillard, Little Rock Police Department

Randolph County

Corporal Nick Poulsen, Arkansas State Police

St. Francis County

Corporal Kelvin Stewart, Arkansas State Police

Saline County

Corporal Chet White, Arkansas State Police

Scott County

Corporal Mac Davis, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Searcy County

Sex Offender Coordinator Cari Seaton, Searcy County Sheriff’s Office

Sebastian County

Officer Kenneth Martin, Fort Smith Police Department

Sevier County

Wildlife Officer Sydney Grant, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Sharp County

Trooper First Class Darren Bates, Arkansas State Police

Stone County

Corporal Chad Cruce, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Union County

Trooper Garrett Brock, Arkansas State Police

Van Buren County

Lieutenant Charles Shaw, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office

Washington County

Corporal Seay Peter-Floyd, Sergeant James Jennings and Officer Natalie Eucce, Fayetteville Police Department

White County

Officer Burnis “BJ” Rouse, Searcy Police Department

Woodruff County

Major Jody Akins, Woodruff County Sheriff’s Office

Yell County

Trooper Steven Payton, Arkansas State Police

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Attorney General Rutledge Joins Multistate Letter To President Biden

Attorney General Rutledge Joins Multistate Letter To President Biden

Thu, Jan 28, 2021

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined a six-state coalition writing a letter to President Biden acknowledging state attorneys general will be vigilant in watching for and opposing federal overreach, especially when such action puts jobs and civil liberties at risk. The letter encourages the newly sworn President to be mindful of the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers and the authority of sovereign states relative to that of the federal government. Should the new administration govern in a manner inconsistent with those tenets, the attorneys general contend it will be their responsibility and duty to challenge the administration’s actions in court.

“As chief legal officers of our states, we must ensure states’ rights are protected and we are prepared to do so,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We are ready to utilize all available means to combat any potential federal overreach that we see.”

The coalition’s letter, led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, urges the new administration to respect individual constitutional rights, as well as limited federal power, limited presidential power and the need for keeping the administrative state in check.

The attorneys general note particular concern for the constitutionally guaranteed rights to religious liberty and to keep and bear arms. With regard to limited federal power, they contend the Constitution delegates a very limited sphere of influence to the federal government and leaves the remainder for states and their citizens to address.

While recognizing the executive branch has much power, the coalition writes the Constitution limits a president’s authority to bypass Congress. It also notes various federal laws require the president to constrain his executive agencies.

Arkansas joined the West Virginia-led letter with support from attorneys general in Indiana, Mississippi, Montana and Texas.

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Rutledge Announces Judgment against Asphalt Services Company that Targeted Seniors

Rutledge Announces Judgment against Asphalt Services Company that Targeted Seniors

Tue, Jan 26, 2021

Says, ‘Targeting vulnerable Arkansans with aggressive, deceptive business practices will not be tolerated’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the judgment against a Texarkana-based asphalt service company for deceptive trade practices and targeting seniors. In January 2020, Rutledge filed a lawsuit against Robert Stevens, owner of Pro-Pave Asphalt, Robert Stevens Construction and RS Asphalt, for multiple violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA).

“Targeting vulnerable Arkansans with aggressive, deceptive business practices will not be tolerated and we will continue to act to protect Arkansas’s seniors and all consumers from bad actors,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This Judgment holds Stevens financially accountable for his wrongdoings and sends a warning message to other fraudsters in Arkansas.”

The Pulaski County Circuit Court ordered Stevens to pay $200,000 in civil penalties for 20 violations of the ADTPA, an additional $40,000 in enhanced penalties for targeting seniors, $40,480 in restitution, and $282.50 for the State’s costs and fees. Additionally, the Court enjoined Stevens from engaging in any business related to asphalt or paving in Arkansas until all penalties, costs, and fees have been paid.

Between April 2016 and August 2019, the Office of the Arkansas Attorney General received eight consumer complaints. Each complaint had a common scheme: Stevens or his employees would pull up to consumers’ houses in an asphalt truck, claim to have some leftover asphalt to sell at a “deeply discounted price,” and provide vague, misleading, and incomplete estimates of the total cost. Stevens then immediately began laying asphalt while failing to ever inform the consumer of the three-day right to cancel as required by the HSSA. After the work was completed or neared completion, Stevens demanded an exorbitant and unexpected fee. He threatened or intimidated consumers until they paid the fee.

General Rutledge encourages all Arkansans to request written estimates of the total project price before any construction work begins.

For more tips to help avoid falling victim to bad actors, or to file a consumer-related claim with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, call (800) 482-8982, email consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

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Rutledge Issues Statement on Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris

Rutledge Issues Statement on Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris

Wed, Jan 20, 2021

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement on the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

“Today, we witnessed a hallmark of American democracy, the peaceful transition of power as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been sworn into office,” Attorney General Rutledge said. “I pray that God will grant this new Administration the wisdom to lead the greatest nation the world has ever seen. May God bless these United States of America.”

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Attorney General Rutledge Announces Redistricting Team

Attorney General Rutledge Announces Redistricting Team

Tue, Jan 19, 2021

Says, ‘I cannot think of a better trio of dedicated public servants to work on behalf of Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced her new redistricting team. Former state senator, Doyle Webb, joins Rutledge’s senior staff as the Redistricting Director for the Attorney General. Webb will lead the redistricting team made up of former state representatives Andy Davis and Col. Douglas House, U.S. Army, Retired, who have been contracted as consultants.

“I am ecstatic to welcome Doyle Webb, Doug House and Andy Davis to my team to help with this important task of redrawing state legislative districts,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “They will bring with them more than 50 years of experience in government, engineering and law. I cannot think of a better trio of dedicated public servants to work on behalf of Arkansans and assist with the redistricting efforts."

Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, states begin the process of redrawing legislative district boundaries to accommodate for population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible. In Arkansas, the districts for the state legislature are drawn by The Board of Apportionment, which consists of the Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State.

Doyle Webb, from Saline County, was formally the chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) where he served for the past 12 years and General Counsel to the Republican National Committee. He holds the record as the longest serving Republican state party chairman in Arkansas and in the country. Throughout his long career, Webb served as a Saline County Justice of the Peace and as State Senator for District 14 where he served from 1995-2002. During his legislative service, Webb served as Vice Chairman of State Agencies, Chairman of Joint Entergy Committee, member of Senate Judiciary Committee, member of Legislative Council, Joint Budget and Joint Audit. He was Chief of Staff to Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller, County Chairman of the Saline County Committee, 2nd District Chairman and General Counsel to the RPA. Webb obtained his J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law in 1981 and practiced law in Saline County for 25 years.

Douglas House, from Pulaski County, is a retired Army Colonel and a former member of the Arkansas State House of Representatives for District 40 where he served from 2012-2021. During his time in state government, House served on the Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee, Joint Budget Committee, Judiciary Committee, Joint Subcommittee on Administrative Rule and Regulation Review. House is a United States Veteran who served in the U.S. Army and Arkansas Army National Guard as an enlisted soldier, Infantry Officer and Judge Advocate. He served in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge. He also has professional experience as a private practice attorney and graduated from University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law in 1980.

Andy Davis, from Pulaski County, is a former member of the Arkansas State House of Representatives for District 31 where he served from 2013-2021. Davis served on the Joint Budget Committee, Revenue and Taxation Committee, and State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee among others. Davis is a Professional Engineer with Jack Tyler Engineering, Inc. where he works in business development. Davis earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

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Attorney General Rutledge Files Arkansas Works Brief with U.S. Supreme Court

Attorney General Rutledge Files Arkansas Works Brief with U.S. Supreme Court

Tue, Jan 19, 2021

Says, ‘Arkansas’s community-engagement requirements will help build a better future for Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed her brief in Arkansas’s U.S. Supreme Court case concerning Arkansas Works and a companion case concerning New Hampshire’s similar program. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments later in 2021. In this case, Rutledge seeks to defend Arkansas Works’ commonsense community-engagement requirements.

“I look forward to the U.S. Supreme Court hearing our case on why Arkansas’s community-engagement requirements will help build a better future for Arkansans," said Attorney General Rutledge. "Arkansas Works reaffirms Arkansas's commitment to improving the health of Arkansans and ensuring the Medicaid program is sustainable."

In 2018, the Trump administration granted a waiver allowing Arkansas to overhaul its eligibility requirements for Medicaid. Arkansas sought to add a requirement that able-bodied people without dependents had to either work or take part in educational or job-training programs for 80 hours a month to receive benefits. The Arkansas Works model is designed to encourage able-bodied Arkansans without dependents to transition into the workforce, while building stronger and more resilient connection with their communities.

In February 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court’s decision to vacate the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ approval of work requirements in Arkansas Works. Rutledge filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in July 2020 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review and uphold the Arkansas Works Medicaid demonstration project. The Court granted certiorari in December 2020.

The cases are Arkansas v. Gresham, No. 20-38, and Azar v. Gresham, No. 20-37.

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