Rutledge Statement on President Obama’s Public School Bathroom DirectiveFri, May 13, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in response to the Obama Administration’s directive on school bathroom access.
“The President is taking his abuse of power to a new level today by forcing a liberal social agenda on school-age children,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This radical and outrageous policy drastically expands the federal government’s role in our local schools and raises serious safety concerns for students and parents. Threatening local districts with a loss of funding unless they comply with this non-binding ‘guidance’ is potentially disruptive to the entire education process and lacks all common sense. These bullying and blackmail tactics are unlawful and unconscionable.
“I stand with Governor Hutchinson in urging local districts to disregard this latest attempt from the administration to force a social agenda on the states. I will also work with my colleagues across the country to determine if legal action against this directive is necessary in order to keep our students safe.”
Rutledge Announces Heber Springs Woman Sentenced for Medicaid FraudThu, May 12, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the conviction of a Cleburne County woman for Medicaid fraud. Jessica Eddy pleaded guilty in Pulaski County Circuit Court. Eddy will serve three years probation and pay a fine of $2,041.20. She was also ordered to pay $680.40 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program Trust Fund.
“Patients dependent on the Medicaid system deserve safe and effective care,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Medicaid fraud investigators and attorneys at the Attorney General’s office work diligently to stop individuals and organizations from scamming the system. I will ensure that those people attempting to defraud Arkansans are held accountable.”
Eddy, 36, of Heber Springs pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud, a Class C felony. Eddy billed the Arkansas Medicaid Program for services that were not rendered, including two occasions while she was being held in jail.
The case was initiated by a referral from the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and was prosecuted in coordination with the 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.
To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rutledge Reminds Charitable Organizations of Reporting DeadlineThu, May 12, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today reminded charitable organizations, paid solicitors and fundraising counsel of the applicable reporting requirement and the approaching May 15 deadline.
“In order to protect Arkansans, Arkansas law requires charitable organizations that solicit donations from citizens to register with my office and file annual financial reports,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These filings are publically available so that charities soliciting donations can be properly verified by those wanting to donate to ensure that the money will be used for its intended purpose. I encourage all Arkansans who are considering donating to a worthy charity to do their research beforehand.”
Arkansas Code Annotated § 4-28-401 through 416 sets out the registration and reporting requirements for charitable organizations, paid solicitors and fundraising counsel. Instructions are provided to assist organizations in complying with applicable statutory provisions but they do not replace such provisions. These instructions should not be construed as or relied upon as legal advice.
Arkansas Code requires each charitable organization subject to the provisions to file annual financial reports with the Attorney General on or before May 15. If a charitable organization maintains its books on other than a calendar-year basis, it may, upon application to the Attorney General, submit its financial reports within six months after the close of its fiscal year.
Arkansans can search the Arkansas Charities Database for more information on charities in Arkansas.
For more information on charities and charity scams, to check the status of a specific nonprofit organization or to look into an organization’s financial reports, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office Public Protection Division at (800) 482-8982 or Charities@ArkansasAG.gov.
Rutledge Statement Following Ruling in Deer/Mt. Judea School District CaseWed, May 11, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement after the circuit court noted that the issues raised by the Deer/Mt. Judea School District do not rise to a level of a constitutional violation that would require judicial intervention. The court disagreed with the school district’s claim that the Arkansas General Assembly’s funding for the district was unconstitutional. The case was Deer/Mt. Judea v. Asa Hutchinson.
“The State of Arkansas has a duty to educate its children,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Under past Arkansas Supreme Court decisions, the General Assembly has a responsibility to provide funding for an adequate education for all children – a responsibility that the court recognized is being met.”
Rutledge Seeks to Challenge Labor’s Persuader RuleTue, May 10, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is leading a group of 10 attorneys general today in filing a motion to intervene in a Texas federal district court case challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Persuader Advice Exemption Rule.
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.
“Despite strong opposition, the Labor Department has moved forward with this rule that only applies to employer-side labor lawyers, not union-side lawyers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This rule is a dangerous example of putting special interests — in this case, labor unions — before the common good and the need to grow jobs. That is why today, I am joining with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and others in an effort to intervene in this case to try and stop this rule from harming job creators across the country.”
The intervention request was filed in National Federation of Independent Business v. Perez.
In the brief, the attorneys general write, “The States’ sovereign interest in regulating its legal profession, and preserving its cornerstone element of confidentiality, is directly related to the Plaintiffs’ claims in this case. If DOL’s new Interpretation and Final Rule is allowed to stand, the federal government may be permitted, without Congressional authorization, to invade virtually any arena of law practice, threaten or preempt state regulations, and alter the longstanding notions of privacy and confidentiality that are hallmarks of the legal profession.”
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 co-leading, and they are joined in the intervention request by attorneys general from Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Rutledge Holds 1st Rutledge Regulatory RoundtableTue, May 10, 2016
HEBER SPRINGS – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today held her first Rutledge Regulatory Roundtable in Heber Springs with local business leaders to listen to their concerns about regulations, specifically those in the agriculture industry, and discuss local issues. Like last year, Rutledge intends to travel the State holding a series of roundtables to hear directly about state and federal regulations impacting Arkansans.
“Face-to-face conversations can lead to real solutions,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As I have traveled Arkansas, I have learned exactly what Arkansans want and expect from government. First, people want government to get out of the way. Second – and just as important – they want the decisions that leaders make to be based on science and data, not politics. Rutledge Roundtables give Arkansans an avenue to share their concerns and open a direct line of communication between the people and their government.”
A regulatory roundtable will also be held today in Searcy.
Last year, Rutledge hosted 85 roundtables across Arkansas, including one in all 75 counties, with more than 700 participants.