Rutledge Statement on the Passing of Marion County Sheriff Roger VickersFri, Jul 24, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in response to the passing of Marion County Sheriff Roger Vickers.
“I was saddened to learn today of the passing of Marion County Sheriff Roger Vickers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Sheriff Vickers has courageously and honorably protected the people of Marion County since he began his long career in law enforcement with the Arkansas State Police in 1985. No matter the issue, he always fought to improve the community and the lives of those who call Marion County home. From Yellville to Bull Shoals, Sheriff Vickers’ leadership and spirit will be greatly missed. I offer my prayers to his wife, Joan, his family and friends and the members of law enforcement who he served alongside.”
Sheriff Vickers was elected in 2008. He retired from a 35-year career with the Arkansas State Police in 2008 as lieutenant and assistant troop commander of Troop I in Harrison. Prior to his law enforcement career, Vickers served in the United States Marine Corps, achieving the rank of sergeant, and saw combat action in Vietnam. He was a 1965 graduate of Bergman High School and a 1978 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Rutledge Announces Arrest of Licensed Professional Counselor for Medicaid FraudThu, Jul 23, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of Al Greggory Dodds, LPC, of Camden, by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit on one charge of Medicaid Fraud, a Class B felony. Dodds, 55, was arrested in Little Rock.
On July 21, 2015, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit served a search warrant on Dodds’ office in Camden, and he admitted to purposely billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program in a fraudulent manner for the last six months and estimated his own fraudulent billings to be between $70,000 and $80,000.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) are working together to audit the past three years of Dodds’ billings, and initial reviews indicate the amount of the fraud will well exceed Dodds’ estimates.
On June 30, 2015, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit received a referral from the OMIG regarding an allegation that Dodds fraudulently double-billed the Arkansas Medicaid Program. An OMIG audit found Dodds overbilled Medicaid $8,133.77 for January 2015.
Medicaid fraud occurs when Medicaid providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled.
Rutledge Welcomes Summer Session II Law ClerksThu, Jul 23, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has welcomed a new class of law clerks to the Attorney General’s Office. These students are doing legal research and drafting memos and legal documents for various departments within the office.
“It is an honor to have this group of law students in our office this summer,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “They are gaining valuable experiences from working with some of the best attorneys in Arkansas. The law clerks are a great asset to our organization and the legal profession.”
McKinley Duke, a second year law student at the University of Arkansas School of Law is clerking in the Civil Department. He graduated from Harding University in 2014 with a major in public administration. Duke is from Conway and graduated from Lee’s Summit High School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri in 2010.
Courtnie Holt, a third year law student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking in the Criminal Department. She graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2013 with a double major in journalism and political science. Holt is a native of Lonoke and graduated from Lonoke High School in 2009.
Taber Hunt, a second year law student at Vanderbilt Law School, is clerking in the Civil Department. He graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013 with a degree in economics. Hunt is from Fort Smith where he graduated from Southside High School in 2009.
Ashley Louks, a third year law student at the University of Arkansas School of Law, is clerking for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. She graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2012 with a double major in history and political science. Louks is from Judsonia and graduated from Pangburn High School in 2008.
Brett Roberts is a second year law student at the University of Arkansas School of Law and is clerking in the Public Protection Department. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 2012 with a major in public administration. Roberts is from Texarkana, Texas, where he graduated from Lake Dallas High School in Corinth, Texas, in 2007.
Will Simpson is a second year law student at the Boston University School of Law and is clerking in the Public Protection Department. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2014 with a double major in economics and finance. Simpson was home schooled in Mountain View and graduated in 2010.
Rutledge Calls on Phone Carriers to Offer Call-Blocking Technology without DelayWed, Jul 22, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today joined 44 other state attorneys general in a letter to AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and CenturyLink, calling on them to offer call-blocking technology to their customers.
In a joint letter to the chief executives of the five major phone carriers, the attorneys general said a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule clarification allows telecommunication service providers to offer customers the ability to block unwanted calls and verifies that federal law does not prohibit offering the services.
“The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office receives numerous calls from consumers each year seeking a way to stop robocalls, scam text messages and unwanted telemarketing calls,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Thanks to the efforts of attorneys general from across the country, the FCC has clarified a rule that allows phone carries to offer call-blocking technology. Consumers will now be able to stop these unwanted and intrusive calls and texts.”
In the letter, the attorneys general stated, “every year, our offices are flooded with consumer complaints pleading for a solution to stop intrusive robocalls. Your companies are now poised to offer your customers the help they need. We urge you to act without delay.”
The phone carriers had previously claimed they could not offer such services. At a July 2013 hearing before a U.S. Senate subcommittee, representatives from the U.S. Telecom Association and the Wireless Association, or CTIA, testified that “legal barriers prevent carriers from implementing advanced call-blocking technology to reduce the number of unwanted telemarketing calls.”
Call-blocking options already exist for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service (NoMoRobo.com) and Android cell phones (Call Control), and Rutledge calls on the phone carriers to move quickly to implement and inform their consumers of these options.
Last September, 39 attorneys general, led by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, called on the FCC to allow phone companies to utilize call-blocking technologies. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler endorsed the request in late May, and the FCC voted to pass the rule clarification on June 18.
In addition to Arkansas, attorneys general from the following states signed today’s letter: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
A copy of the letter is available by clicking here.
Rutledge Files Comments with the EPA Regarding Federal Regional Haze ProposalThu, Jul 16, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after it proposed a Regional Haze Federal Implementation Plan following rejection of the State’s plan to improve visibility in the State’s wilderness areas.
The comments, filed yesterday, state that the EPA acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in its decision to require billions of dollars in compliance costs for very limited improvement in visibility.
“I am urging the EPA to carefully consider the comments that have been submitted,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This Federal Implementation Plan is a prime example of an overreaching federal regulation in a State in which recent data shows that visibility is improving. A plan crafted by Arkansas officials considering Arkansas’s best interests would serve the State much better.”
In the letter, Rutledge writes, “The proposed Federal Implementation Plan has no basis in law or science and is a prime example of overreaching federal regulation in response to ‘sue and settle’ litigation brought by the Sierra Club. As such, the EPA should withdraw the proposed plan and consult with the State in developing an approvable State Implementation Plan.”
These comments are being filed after Rutledge requested the EPA withdraw the proposed settlement between the Sierra Club and the EPA which would require the EPA to put in place a Federal Implementation Plan by December 15. In her previous comments, Rutledge cited that the plan is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In the previous comments, Rutledge also said that the Sierra Club lacks standing in the suit, Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which gave rise to the settlement. On July 11, Rutledge requested intervention in Sierra Club v. McCarthy.
A copy of the comment letter submitted to the EPA can be viewed here.
Rutledge Marks Military Consumer Protection DayWed, Jul 15, 2015
FORT SMITH – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today marked Military Consumer Protection Day at Fort Chaffee by holding her third Rutledge Roundtable with military and veteran leaders to discuss the unique challenges faced by veterans and active duty servicemen and women and how the Attorney General’s Office can better serve them.
As a part of the new Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office, Rutledge is holding Roundtables in all nine Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs regions. Last week, she hosted a Roundtable in Region 1 at Fort Roots in North Little Rock. Today’s Roundtable at Fort Chaffee is in Region 6.
“Today is a good reminder of the commitment of our military servicemen and women, veterans and their families,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is important for me to spend Military Consumer Protection Day visiting with military and veteran stakeholders at Fort Chaffee, a 66,000-acre training facility for the United States Army and Arkansas National Guard. It is no secret that service members and their families face unique challenges and stresses. Scam artists are skilled at knowing exactly how to exploit these weaknesses, which is why we are working to educate our military members, veterans and their families about services provided by the Attorney General’s Office.”
Arkansas military service members, veterans and families can file consumer complaints with the Attorney General’s Office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling (800) 482-8982.
Military Consumer Protection Day is a partnership between attorneys general from across the country, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, and many more organizations. Military Consumer Protection Day is an initiative to empower active duty and retired service members, veterans and families and help them defend against fraud and make better-informed decisions when managing money.