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Memorial Day

Rutledge Celebrates Memorial Day

Mon, May 30, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in observance of Memorial Day.

“Without the ultimate sacrifice of countless brave men and women across generations, we would not be able to enjoy the freedom and independence that we all hold dear,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Their commitment to service, devotion to country and vow to protect their fellow man is a big part of what makes the United States the envy of the world. Psalm 34:18 says, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ Today, I offer my prayers and heartfelt appreciation to the families of Arkansas’s fallen soldiers. We will never forget your loved ones and the responsibility to honor their memories today and every day.”

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5th Annual Never Forgotten

Rutledge Announces 5th Annual Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action Event

Wed, May 25, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will host the Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event on Thursday, July 7 at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. The event, which is in its fifth year, was established to raise awareness of the challenges associated with missing persons cases and recognize Arkansas’s missing children and adults.

Sgt. Mark Simpson, of Arlington, Texas, will speak with members of the Arkansas law enforcement community during a morning training session. Sgt. Simpson led the task force established to find Amber Hagerman and investigate her murder. Nine-year-old Hagerman was abducted and recovered deceased in 1996. Her case led to the creation of the nationwide America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER) Alert system.

Also on July 7 at Camp Robinson, Rutledge has partnered with the Morgan Nick Foundation to provide a family program from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program will be for families of missing adults and children and families who have had loved ones recovered, both alive and deceased. The program facilitator will be Duane Bowers, a nationally recognized and respected grief and trauma counselor who specializes in issues facing families of the missing.

“Arkansans who are living each day with a loved one missing deserve our support,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “And that is why this annual event is so important. I want to continue to bring these families together and provide opportunities to connect with each other and the Arkansas law enforcement community. They need to know that their loved ones have not been forgotten.”

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 the afternoon, investigators and other service providers will be on hand to assist families with active missing persons cases and give them the opportunity to submit information that may be useful in finding their loved ones.

Rutledge encourages families and loved ones of the missing to attend on July 7 and bring with them as much information as possible about their missing loved ones, such as police reports, photographs and dental records. Forensic analysts will also be at the event to take DNA samples.

Representatives from the FBI, National Unidentified and Missing Persons System, Morgan Nick Foundation, State Crime Lab and State Police Criminal Investigations Division will be available to assist families as part of the missing persons initiative.

Every service offered at the event is free.

Registration can be found at ArkansasAG.gov.

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 oag@arkansasag.gov, or to reach the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber Tipline, call (800) THE-LOST (843-5678).

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Challenge to Labor’s Persuader Rule

Rutledge Intervention Request Granted in Challenge to Labor’s Persuader Rule

Fri, May 20, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said today that a federal judge granted Arkansas and nine other states the right to intervene in a case challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Persuader Advice Exemption Rule. Rutledge, along with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, is leading the 10-state coalition, which filed a motion to intervene on May 10.

“This rule will jeopardize the ability of employers to get the confidential legal advice they need,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Privacy and confidentiality have long been the norm not the exception of the legal profession, but the federal government is now attempting to shred the attorney-client relationship and turn it into a partisan issue. The employer’s relationship with its legal counsel must be protected, and I am grateful the judge has granted our request to intervene in this case.”

The DOL’s new rule, which is a complete reversal of how the Department has operated for half a century, forces disclosure of confidential information, communication and relationships between small businesses and their outside counsel in labor relations matters. Plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction of the rule.

The intervention was granted in the case National Federation of Independent Business v. Perez.

Rutledge has been vocal in her concern and opposition to this rule. Arkansas and 12 others states sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget voicing opposition to the proposal earlier this year. The attorneys general believed the rule would place undue burdens on small businesses, which would be singled out under the rule.

In April, Rutledge led a group of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in Arkansas federal district court urging the judge to grant the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction of the rule. The brief was also filed in a similar case in Minnesota federal district court.

Rutledge and Paxton are joined in the intervention request by attorneys general from Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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Medicaid Fraud Arrest of a Phillips County Woman
CFPB to Convene a Conference of States

Rutledge Calls on the CFPB to Convene a Conference of States Before Proposing Preemptive Federal Standards

Tue, May 17, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has asked the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Richard Cordray, to convene a conference of the states to discuss the framework and ideas contained in a March 26 outline of potential new federal standards for – and limitations on – credit lines, installment loans, deposit advances, automobile-title secured loans and payday loans.

“The outline from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ignores the interests of the states and seeks to impose a one-size-fits-all federal approach,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “If the Bureau moves ahead with its proposal, I fear that it will negate reasonable policies that Arkansas and other states currently have in place to protect consumers and at the same time allow the free market to provide needed services like credit lending. I am calling on Director Cordray, a former state attorney general, to recognize the need to hear from the states on these issues and to convene a conference as soon as possible before taking any further action.”

Rutledge's letter explains that such a conference would help demonstrate that Cordray’s commitment to cooperative federalism is real. It would also provide an opportunity to discuss the various state regulatory and enforcement systems, what the states have learned from their own longstanding efforts to protect consumers from predatory, dishonest and sharp lending practices and how unnecessary federal-state conflict might be avoided.

Rutledge notes in the letter that the potential rule will conflict with, constrict and otherwise unnecessarily interfere with existing state consumer protection laws, lending standards, licensing systems and regulatory enforcement mechanisms.

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Pulaski County Man Arrested for Crimes Involving Children

Rutledge Announces Arrest of Pulaski County Man for Crimes Involving Children

Fri, May 13, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of Anthony Farisa of North Little Rock on three counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class B felony.

Farisa, 41, a registered sex offender with a previous conviction from Wisconsin for possession of child pornography, was arrested by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit today. He is also being held on a parole violation. Farisa will remain in the Pulaski County Jail with no bond.

Special agents in the Attorney General’s Office began investigating Farisa after agents determined that someone using a computer at Farisa’s address offered to participate in the distribution of nude images of children. On April 20, agents assisted Arkansas Community Corrections officers with a home compliance check and seized several items of evidence.

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