Rutledge Recognizes Memorial DayThu, May 24, 2018
Says, ‘I offer my heartfelt prayers and appreciation to the families of fallen soldiers across our state’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement today in observance of Memorial Day.
“Today we pause to remember the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. These individuals stood firm in protecting the United States and our freedoms. I offer my heartfelt prayers and appreciation to the families of fallen soldiers across our state as we honor their courage, devotion and sacrifice. Let us never forget our fallen heroes.”
Rutledge will attend the City of Maumelle’s annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial at Lake Willastein Park in Maumelle. The event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.
Rutledge Statement on News of Ebby SteppachWed, May 23, 2018
'I ask my fellow Arkansans to help shine light on the state’s over 500 active missing person cases’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today issued a statement in response to the developments of the Ebby Steppach’s case in Little Rock after she went missing in 2015.
“Over the past two years, Arkansans have kept Ebby’s family in their thoughts and prayers as they sought answer into Ebby’s disappearance” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I first met Ebby’s mother, Laurie Jernigan, in 2016 at my Annual Never Forgotten event along with many other brave families of missing persons. I witnessed her grief firsthand, but I also saw Laurie’s true strength as she endured unimaginable pain. As Laurie and her family bring their daughter home, I pray they find solace and peace as they wrestle with this difficult new reality. On this devastating occasion, I ask my fellow Arkansans to help shine light on the state's over 500 active missing persons cases. Please pray for Ebby's family as well as for those who are searching for other missing Arkansans."
For more information on the full list of missing persons from Arkansas, go to NeverForgotten.ar.gov.
Rutledge Issues Decisions on Pending Ballot MeasuresWed, May 23, 2018
The Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision reaffirms the Attorney General’s call for the General Assembly to clarify the ballot measure process
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced that in light of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision today in Couch v. Rutledge, she is certifying ballot titles for proposals to raise the minimum wage, authorize casino gaming, and revise the legislative redistricting process. Attorney General Rutledge is rejecting a proposal that would legalize marijuana because of insufficiencies and fundamental flaws in the text of the measure.
“I have issued opinions on ballot proposals based on standards set forth in statutes as well as case law of the Arkansas Supreme Court,” said Rutledge. “However, the Arkansas Supreme Court has once again muddied the waters on these standards by offering no insight in its decision requiring me to certify or substitute language of a ballot title that I had previously rejected. In light of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s failure to put forth clear standards, I am certifying these proposals in an exercise of caution to ensure Arkansans are given an opportunity to put these measures on the ballot.”
“To be clear, today’s certifications do not prevent a citizen from legally challenging a ballot proposal once the required number of signatures are submitted to the Arkansas Secretary of State. Therefore, it is a real possibility that any one or all of the certified proposals will not appear on the ballot in November.”
“The Arkansas Supreme Court’s failure to include clear standards and reasoning has only exacerbated the confusion surrounding ballot title submissions. As I stated last week, I am calling on the General Assembly to create a system ensuring Arkansans have a clear and fair process to amend the constitution and place initiatives on the ballot.”
Rutledge Sets June Mobile Office LocationsTue, May 22, 2018
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced mobile office locations for June.
Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and assisted nearly 1,000 Arkansans last year.
Rutledge believes in face-to-face conversations to truly hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.
This year, the Cooperative Extension Service will be on hand at each mobile office to also provide information on the services they provide statewide.
Rutledge continues her partnership with local law enforcement across Arkansas to offer prescription drug take back boxes at each mobile office. Law enforcement will be at all mobile offices to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Rutledge encourages Arkansans to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office.
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 is below:
Tuesday, June 5
10:30 a.m. – noon
Heber Springs Community Center
201 Bobbie Jean Lane
Heber Springs, AR 72543
Thursday, June 7
10:30 a.m. – noon
Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative, Texarkana Office
2904 E. 9th St.
Texarkana, AR 71854
Tuesday, June 12
10:30 a.m. – noon
North Arkansas Electric Cooperative in Salem
225 S. Main
Salem, AR 72576
Hot Spring County
Thursday, June 14
9:30 to 11 a.m.
Central Arkansas Development Council Malvern Senior Activity Center
1800 W. Moline
Malvern, AR 72104
Tuesday, June 19
10:30 a.m. – noon
Ouachita County Cooperative Extension Service
2760 Mount Holly Road
Camden, AR 71701
St. Francis County
Thursday, June 21
10:30 a.m. – noon
St. Francis County Cooperative Extension Service
313 S. Izard St.
Forrest City, AR 72335
Tuesday, June 26
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Mena-Polk County Senior Center
401 Autumn Drive
Mena, AR 71953
Thursday, June 28
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Pope County Senior Wellness and Activity Center
1010 S. Rochester Ave.
Russellville, AR 72802
Rutledge Announces Hot Springs Man Sentenced for Crimes Involving ChildrenMon, May 21, 2018
Says, ‘I am committed to getting these predators out of our neighborhoods and off the internet’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that a Garland County man has been sentenced to 60 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on child exploitation charges.
Gerald Lee Groomes, 46, of Hot Springs, was convicted by a jury of 20 counts of possessing, distributing or viewing of matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child.
“The Cyber Crimes Unit at the Attorney General’s office works diligently to protect Arkansas children and families,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I appreciate the partnerships across the State to protect our children and ensure these dangerous criminals are brought to justice. I am committed to getting these predators out of our neighborhoods and off the internet.”
Groomes was arrested in 2017 after a search was executed by Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit with assistance from the Hot Springs Police Department. Attorneys from the Attorney General’s office were appointed as special deputy prosecutors. Judge Homer Wright sentenced Groomes in Garland County Circuit Court.
Rutledge Calls on General Assembly to Fix Initiative ProcessThu, May 17, 2018
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today calls on the General Assembly to fix the initiative (and referenda) process.
“Today, I call on the General Assembly to fix the process by which a citizen can place an initiative to amend the Arkansas Constitution on the election ballot. Citizens should know very early in the process whether the Arkansas Supreme Court approves of the language of their proposal, prior to their spending significant amounts of time and money collecting signatures and educating voters on the issue. I am dedicated to working with the General Assembly to create such a system and will continue looking out for the best interests of all Arkansans to ensure the process is clear and fair.
“Under current state law, I am required as Attorney General to review proposed initiatives to ensure they are not misleading. In determining whether a proposal is misleading, I must follow the very strict standard set forth by the Arkansas Supreme Court in the Lange and Wilson cases from 2016. These Supreme Court decisions require that it be clear to Arkansans what a ‘for’ or ‘against’ vote means.
“Only proposals that I am confident meet the Supreme Court’s stringent test are approved. After I approve the language, citizens must spend a great amount of time and money gathering the required number of signatures to have their proposal placed on the election ballot by the Secretary of State. At this point, opponents of the proposal can ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to strike it down. In its review the Court does not consider my initial approval of the proposal, but instead takes a completely new look at the language. Because such challenges occur very close to the election, proposals rejected by the Arkansas Supreme Court often still appear on the election ballot, adding further confusion for Arkansas voters.
“This is not the best process for Arkansans. Citizens who want to place an initiative on the ballot should not be required to get the language approved by both the Attorney General and the Arkansas Supreme Court. The process for citizens to have initiative language approved should have clear standards and deadlines. Therefore, I call on the General Assembly to create a system during the 2019 legislative session to ensure Arkansans have a clear and fair process to have an initiative to amend the State Constitution placed on the ballot.”