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Laura’s Cards are Now Available in Spanish

Rutledge: Laura’s Cards are Now Available in Spanish

Thu, Jul 28, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the Spanish version of Laura’s Card will be provided across the State in an effort to assist and empower even more victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The card can also be downloaded at LaurasCard.ar.gov.

“As a former Lonoke County prosecutor, I saw firsthand the heartbreak that domestic violence can bring to families,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These crimes have no age, race, economic or geographic boundaries, and it is important that all Arkansans have the resources they need, including those in the Spanish speaking community. The Spanish version of Laura’s Card will be made available to sheriffs’ offices, police departments, advocacy groups, service providers and shelters across the State.”

Rutledge unveiled Laura’s Card in February, and 37,000 have been distributed across the State so far.

Laura’s Card was created through legislation sponsored by Rep. Charlotte Douglas (R-Alma) in the 2015 legislative session after many conversations with Laura Webb of Cabot. Webb is a survivor of domestic violence, but when she was victimized she did not know where to turn and voiced her concerns to Rep. Douglas about the need to provide resources to those in abusive situations. Now under Act 873, law enforcement officers must provide a resource information card to assist victims of crime and their families.

Laura’s Card includes 24-hour crisis lines, a place for law enforcement and local shelter or service provider to include contact information, a list of victim’s rights, information about the Crime Victims Reparations Board and a website that has been created with links to numerous resources available across the State. The website, LaurasCard.ar.gov, is a clearinghouse of resources for law enforcement, service providers and victims.

In addition to working with Rep. Douglas, Webb and the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Rutledge also received input to help craft Laura’s Card from the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police; Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault; Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence; Arkansas Crime Information Center; Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board; Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association; Arkansas State Police; Criminal Justice Institute and the Office of the Prosecutor Coordinator.

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Summer Law Clerks

Rutledge Welcomes Summer Law Clerks

Thu, Jul 21, 2016

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge welcomed a new class of law clerks for Summer Session II 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 trial, client meetings and hearings.

“The law clerk program is a great service-learning opportunity for these law students,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “They are gaining valuable experience from some of the State’s top attorneys this summer, while being exposed to the public service sector. Law clerks are a valuable asset to services provided at the Attorney General’s office.”

Steven Beheshti, a second year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 2013, with a major in history. Beheshti is from Little Rock and graduated from Central Arkansas Christian Schools in 2006.

Luke Brasuell, a second year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the Public Protection Department. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with degrees in international relations and economics in 2014. Brasuell is from Benton and graduated from Benton High School in 2010.

Beth Carson, a third year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the Criminal Department. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2011, with a degree in criminal justice. Carson is from Hensley and graduated from Mount St. Mary Academy in 2007. Carson also served in the Army National Guard from 2006 to 2014.

Jared Perry, a second year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in English in 2015. Perry is from Batesville and graduated from Midland High School in 2010.

Forrest Stobaugh, a second year student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the State Agencies Department. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 2014, with a degree in political science. Stobaugh is from Morrilton and graduated from Morrilton High School in 2010.

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Hot Springs Man Sentenced

Rutledge Announces Hot Springs Man Sentenced for Crimes Involving Children

Wed, Jul 20, 2016

HOT SPRINGS – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that a Garland County man has been sentenced to 20 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child exploitation charges.

Herman Duncan, 44, of Hot Springs, pleaded guilty to four counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving children and one count each for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition to his prison sentence, Duncan must register as a sex offender.

“The Attorney General office’s Cyber Crimes Unit works closely with local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies across the State to protect our children from these dangerous predators,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am committed to getting these criminals out of our neighborhoods, and I appreciate the diligent work of officials to protect Arkansas children and families and get these criminals off the internet.”

Duncan was arrested in 2015 on a search warrant executed by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit and the Hot Springs Police Department. An attorney from the Attorney General’s office was appointed by the 18th East Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Terri Harris as special deputy prosecutor. Judge Marcia Hearnsberger sentenced Duncan on July 19 in Garland County Circuit Court.

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Congress to Rein In Federal Agencies

Rutledge Calls on Congress to Rein In Federal Agencies

Tue, Jul 19, 2016

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined a coalition of 15 states urging Congress to better regulate and, when necessary, rein in federal agencies' recent expansion of regulations.

In the letter sent July 11 to House and Senate leadership, the attorneys general explained that often federal agencies are acting outside their congressionally delegated authority, circumventing the law by issuing binding rules in the guise of “guidance” documents, failing to consider the costs of regulations and unnecessarily overriding existing state laws.

“Unfortunately, many recent federal regulations have violated the Administrative Procedure Act, not to mention the underlying congressional statute,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These rules are often implemented without the benefit of a comment period or the consideration of their impact on citizens or businesses, which is a protection against unnecessary rules that Congress specifically envisioned and required. I will continue to fight to protect Arkansans and ensure that agencies engage in transparent rulemaking consistent with separation of powers, principles and the laws enacted by Congress.”

Among other deficiencies, the letter highlights the trend among agencies to make binding rules through so-called guidance documents. It cites the federal Administrative Procedures Act as requiring a notice and comment period for any change an agency wants to enact. This allows those affected to give their opinion and prepare.

Federal agencies have been avoiding this process with so-called guidance documents, which are meant to offer non-binding advice but are increasingly being used to create new binding regulations and sanctions for those who fail to comply. Many agencies also are acting outside the bounds of their authority and do not consider existing state law or the costs of regulation. The letter specifically highlights recent proposals by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that will unnecessarily preempt state law, which is an issue that Rutledge has continuously raised.

The letter explains that congressional action is needed because it can take years to block the unlawful initiatives in court, resulting in many regulated entities spending significant time and money that they cannot get back.

In addition to Arkansas, the states of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin signed the letter.

Read a full copy of the letter here.

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