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Injunction Granted Against EPA’s WOTUS Rule

Injunction Granted Against the EPA’s WOTUS Rule Preventing Implementation Tomorrow

Thu, Aug 27, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota has granted Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and 12 other States’ motion to put in place a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule defining “Waters of the United States.” The States had asked that the rule’s Aug. 28, 2015 effective date be delayed due to the irreparable harm it would cause. This injunction stops the WOTUS rule from going into effect and prevents the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) from enforcing the rule until it can be fully litigated.

“Today’s ruling from the District Court is an important victory for Arkansas,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “EPA’s WOTUS rule goes beyond the scope intended by Congress when it passed the Clean Water Act. At the very least, until these facts can be fully litigated in court, it is important that this damaging rule not harm Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers. This injunction is an important first step in a legal battle to show that the EPA exceeded its authority.”

In today’s order, Federal District Court Judge Ralph Erickson agreed that the rule should be delayed during the ongoing litigation, stating “the States are likely to succeed on their claim because (1) it appears likely that the EPA has violated its Congressional grant of authority in its promulgation of the rule at issue and (2) it appears likely the EPA failed to comply with APA requirements when promulgating the rule.”

A copy of the injunction is available by clicking here.

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Mobile Offices for September

Rutledge Announces Mobile Office Locations for the Beginning of September

Thu, Aug 27, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for the beginning of September.

Attorney General’s Office staff assist constituents who are having issues with scams and help them file consumer complaints at Mobile Offices. Staff will also be available to answer questions about other services the office offers to constituents.

Rutledge created the initiative so that the office would be easily accessible to everyone across Arkansas.

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 follows:

Marked Tree
Thursday, September 3
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
St. Bernards Senior Life Center
212 10th St.
Marked Tree, AR 72365

Blytheville
Thursday, September 3
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Mississippi County Senior Citizens Center
1101 David Lane
Blytheville, AR 72315

Mount Ida
Tuesday, September 8
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Mount Ida Civic Center
145 Whittington St., Suite C
Mount Ida, AR 71957

Mena
Tuesday, September 8
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Mena-Polk County Senior Center
401 Autumn Lane
Mena, AR 71953

Ozark
Thursday, September 10
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Franklin County Senior Citizens Center
324 North 5th St.
Ozark, AR 72949

Paris
Thursday, September 10
2 – 4 p.m.
Paris City Hall
100 North Express St.
Paris, AR 72855

Texarkana
Tuesday, September 15
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Texarkana City Hall
216 Walnut St.
Texarkana, AR 71854

Ashdown
Tuesday, September 15
2 – 4 p.m.
Little River Senior Citizens Center
1321 Gordon Drive
Ashdown, AR 71822

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El Dorado Man Sentenced for Crimes

Rutledge Announces El Dorado Man Sentenced for Crimes Involving Children

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

EL DORADO – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that a Union County man has been sentenced to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child exploitation charges.

Javelle Washington, 35, of El Dorado pleaded guilty to five counts of distributing, possessing or viewing sexually explicit material involving children. In addition to his prison sentence, Washington is required to register as a sex offender.

“Our Cyber Crimes Unit works with prosecutors across the state to take predators off of our streets,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I am committed to protecting our children, and I appreciate the diligent work of agents in my office working closely with local prosecuting attorneys and law enforcement agencies.”

Washington was arrested in November 2014 on a search warrant obtained by the Attorney General Special Investigations Division and the Union County Sheriff’s Office. An attorney from the Attorney General’s office was appointed by 13th District Prosecutor David Butler as special deputy prosecutor. Judge Robin Carroll sentenced Washington on Aug. 18 in Union County Circuit Court.

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Appointment of Howard Brill

Rutledge Statement on the Appointment of Howard Brill to be Arkansas Chief Justice

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in response to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s appointment of University of Arkansas School of Law Professor Howard W. Brill to be the Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Brill will complete the term of Chief Justice Jim Hannah who announced his retirement on Aug. 13 from the court.

“Professor Howard Brill is an excellent appointment by the Governor to lead the State’s highest court,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Since 1975, Professor Brill has spent his days teaching future lawyers about legal ethics and professional responsibility and many continue to seek his guidance long after leaving the classroom. He is held in high esteem by his current and former students – many of whom have gone on to become top attorneys – and the countless lawyers and judges across Arkansas. I am confident that Professor Brill will uphold the rule of law and offer a fair and reasoned judgment to any of the important questions brought before him and the other justices. Serving as the State’s Chief Justice is an enormous task, but Professor Brill is certainly up to the challenge. On behalf of all of the attorneys at the Attorney General’s Office, I congratulate Professor Brill on this appointment.”

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Intervention Granted

Intervention Granted for the State of Arkansas in Regional Haze Case

Mon, Aug 24, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas has granted the State’s motion to intervene in the case, Sierra Club v. McCarthy. Arkansas sought to intervene because a Consent Decree proposed by the parties to the lawsuit would impose an arbitrary deadline for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize a Federal Implementation Plan or approve a revised State Implementation Plan for regional haze.

“The EPA is ignoring what is best for Arkansas in order to satisfy the interests of the Sierra Club,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The Sierra Club initially brought this lawsuit, which affects Arkansas ratepayers, in a California federal court. I am pleased that the court has granted our request to intervene so that this ‘sue and settle’ case can be stopped. I am prepared to fully litigate this case to protect Arkansas utility ratepayers from increased costs.”

In today’s order, Judge Leon Holmes wrote, “The State of Arkansas’s defense is thus based upon the fact that the statute is jointly administered by the State and the EPA as part of the ‘cooperative federalism’ mandated by the Clean Air Act. Neither Sierra Club nor the EPA argues to the contrary.”

On April 24, Rutledge filed comments on the proposed Consent Decree submitted by the parties in Sierra Club v. McCarthy. Rutledge argued that the arbitrary deadline set in the case would likely lead to a rule that requires billions of dollars in compliance costs for very limited improvement in visibility. Rutledge also believes that the Sierra Club lacks standing in the suit, which gave rise to the settlement. On July 11, Rutledge requested intervention in the case.

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$71 Million Settlement with Amgen

Rutledge and 48 Other State Attorneys General Reach $71 Million Settlement with Amgen

Mon, Aug 24, 2015

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she along with 48 other State Attorneys General have reached a $71 million settlement with Amgen Inc. to resolve allegations that Amgen unlawfully promoted biologic medications Aranesp and Enbrel. Under the terms of the Consent Judgment, Arkansas will receive $959,758.24 from the settlement. Aranesp is used to treat certain types of anemia by stimulating bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Enbrel is used to treat a number of conditions, including plaque psoriasis.

The State of Arkansas’s complaint alleges that Amgen violated state consumer protection laws by: (1) promoting Aranesp for dosing frequencies longer than the FDA approved label without competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate the extended dosing frequencies; (2) promoting Aranesp for anemia caused by cancer without having FDA approval or competent and reliable scientific evidence to support it; and (3) promoting Enbrel for mild plaque psoriasis even though Enbrel is only approved by the FDA to treat chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

“Amgen violated Arkansas’s consumer protection laws by promoting the use of drugs without reliable scientific evidence or FDA approval,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Consumers who used the drugs at Amgen’s recommendation were put at a serious health risk. This agreement forces Amgen to adjust its marketing methods and holds the company accountable for its deceptive actions.”

Under the terms of the Consent Judgment, Amgen must reform its marketing and promotional practices and shall not:

  • make, or cause to be made, any written or oral claim that is false, misleading, or deceptive in promoting Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp;
  • represent that Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp has any sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, quantities, or qualities that it does not have;
  • use a compendium listing or publication to promote Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp for an Off-Label Use to a health care professional;
  • allow Amgen Marketing and Amgen Sales to initiate interactions with a compendium or determine the content of any materials for submissions to a compendium relating to Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp; and
  • submit a special supplement to a compendium to support an off-label use of Enbrel or any drug in the same class as Aranesp or use a third party to lobby a compendium on Amgen’s behalf without notifying the compendium that it is acting at Amgen’s request.

The other States participating in the settlement are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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