Rutledge Honored to Host Kansas AG for Historic Never Forgotten EventThu, Jul 18, 2019
Rep. Rebecca Petty receives Star of Excellence Award; Kevin Metcalf and Russell White receive Morgan’s Choice Awards
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today hosted the eighth annual Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event at the Benton Event Center. The daylong event brought together a record 360 law enforcement officials and families of missing persons to raise awareness and recognize Arkansas’s missing children and adults.
“Every year families with missing loved ones come together to receive support from officials and families statewide,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It was an honor to host Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and to hear his words of inspiration that have helped guide his state in missing persons’ cases. Today is more than an opportunity to train and educate our law enforcement officials. It is a chance for all to gather and remember, give hope and support to those who have experienced the unimaginable.”
Kansas Attorney General Schmidt was the luncheon keynote speaker. Attorney General Schmidt has been a leading advocate in Kansas for missing persons cases, strengthening state laws against human trafficking and launched Kelsey’s Law – a bill that is named for Kansas native, Kelsey Smith, who was abducted and killed in 2007 – requiring wireless companies to disclose cell phone location to law enforcement officials in life-threatening cases. In 2015, Arkansas passed Act 405, known as the “Kelsey Smith Act”.
“I appreciate Attorney General Rutledge's invitation to share in today's important conversations about the efforts to find missing persons and reunite them with their families,” said Attorney General Schmidt. “As attorneys general, we have learned that there is great value in sharing ideas between states and finding ways to collaborate on issues that affect us all.”
Law enforcement officers heard from Washington County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Metcalf, who discussed cyber response in missing persons cases.
Officers also heard from the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office Special Investigations Department who discussed what the department can do to assist law enforcement officers searching for missing persons when cases involve internet crimes. In the afternoon, law enforcement received training from Arkansas Public Safety Secretary Jami Cook and Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy personnel on best practices for investigating missing and unidentified persons cases. The material covered fulfilled the training requirement for the newly enacted Act 920.
At the same time as the law enforcement session, a panel discussion was held for the families of missing persons on available resources to assist them with locating their loved ones. Participating agencies included Arkansas Crime Information Center, Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, Arkansas State Crime Lab, Arkansas State Police, FBI, the Morgan Nick Foundation, National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) and others.
A luncheon was hosted by Rutledge to honor the families of the missing and thank law enforcement for assisting in missing persons cases. The event also provided support and networking opportunities for families still searching and for those who have tragically lost loved ones.
During the luncheon, the Morgan’s Choice Award, named after Morgan Nick, who went missing in 1995, was presented to two individuals this year; Washington County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Metcalf and retired Alma Police Chief Russell White for their continued efforts in missing cases. The Star of Excellence Award was presented to Representative Rebecca Petty for her leadership in the passage of Act 920 which provided better training and resources to law enforcement in missing persons investigations.
In 2018, Rutledge launched #MissingPersonMondays, a social media campaign to highlight one individual listed on the NeverForgotten.ar.gov site every Monday throughout the year. Rutledge also published a resource guide that is available for families of missing persons to provide a list of best practices to help families work through this difficult process.
In 2016, Rutledge was part of a collaborative effort to launch NeverForgotten.ar.gov, a website that enables the public to access information on missing persons cases with an easy-to-use searchable database.
The Attorney General’s office serves as an information clearinghouse for reports on Arkansas’s missing children and acts as the main point of contact for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
To reach the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline, call (800) THE-LOST (843-5678).
Rutledge to Host Retiree Resources Event July 30 in HopeWed, Jul 17, 2019
Retirees will learn how to not lose ‘their hard-earned savings to lazy, low-life con artists’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced registration is open for the free regional Rutledge Retiree Resources event July 30 in Hope. The event is a part of a larger series of educational programs hosted by Rutledge for seniors throughout the state. The agenda includes programs designed to educate retirees about how they can protect themselves from pervasive and vicious scam artists.
“Arkansans should be able to spend retirement enjoying time with family and friends and not losing their hard-earned savings to lazy, low-life con artists,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Face-to-face meetings allow retirees to look us in the eyes and ask questions directly about how they can protect their finances.”
Attendees will hear from the Attorney General’s public protection experts about protecting themselves from scams and identity theft, proper prescription drug disposal, resources regarding nursing homes and home care and how to protect finances.
The event will be held in the Washington Suite of Hempstead Hall at the University of Arkansas Community College, 2500 South Main Street, Hope, Arkansas. For those interested in attending this free educational event or future events, register today. Lunch will be provided.
Rutledge Retiree Resources have been held in Fayetteville, Jonesboro and DeWitt. Registration is also available for an additional Rutledge Retiree Resources event scheduled September 5 in Little Rock.
Rutledge Releases Statement on Passing of Justice StevensTue, Jul 16, 2019
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement after the announcement of the passing of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
“Justice Stevens served our great nation for many years,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “My prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Rutledge Welcomes Summer InternsTue, Jul 16, 2019
Says ‘We are very proud to train and equip the future leaders of our State’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has welcomed 15 students from across the State into the Attorney General’s Office annual summer internship program.
“We are very proud to train and equip the future leaders of our state through our internship program,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This class of interns features quality students from both undergraduate and graduate programs at high caliber institutions across the nation who will benefit by gaining valuable experience serving the great people of Arkansas.”
Iyannah Anderson is a freshman at Pulaski Technical College where she studies criminal justice. Iyannah is a 2019 graduate from the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in her hometown of Little Rock. She is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Abigail Barr is a senior at Arkansas State University where she studies political science with minors in economics and philosophy. Abigail is a 2016 graduate from Southside High School in her hometown of Fort Smith. She is working in the Civil Department.
Samuel Beavers is a senior at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff where he studies political science focusing on law and international relations. Samuel is a 2016 graduate from Watson Chapel High School in his hometown of Pine Bluff. He is working in the Communications Department.
Skyler Coombs is a sophomore at Northwest Arkansas Community College and is a history major. Coombs graduated from Life Way Christian School in Centerton in 2017 and previously attended Harding University. He is working in the Northwest Arkansas District Office.
Duncan Diaz is a junior at Rhodes College in Memphis where he studies history. Duncan is a 2017 graduate from Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys in his hometown of Little Rock. He is working in the Solicitor General Department.
Sakiya Hearns is a junior at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff where she studies political science. Sakiya is a 2017 graduate of Central High School in her hometown of Little Rock. She is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Jarret Jones is a senior at the University of Arkansas and is enrolled in the Sam M. Walton College of Business Honors Program pursing a degree in management. Jones graduated from Fellowship Academy in Kennedale, Texas, in 2017. He is working in the Northwest Arkansas District Office.
Royce LoBianco is a recent graduate of Lyon College where he was a double major, studying both political science and economics. Royce is from Maumelle and graduated in 2015 from Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys. He is working in the Logistics Department.
Zachary McCormack is a junior at Lyon College where he studies political science. Zachary is a 2017 graduate from Central High School in his hometown of Little Rock. He is working in the Public Protection Department.
Amber McGee is a senior at the University of Arkansas where she studies public health and nursing. Amber is a 2017 graduate of Bryant High School in her hometown of Bryant. She is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Alex Nauman is a sophomore at the University of Arizona, where he studies pre-business. Alex is a 2018 graduate from Central High School in his hometown of Little Rock. He is working in the Public Protection Department.
Evan Nelson is a recent graduate of Ouachita Baptist University where he earned a degree in business administration and sports management. Evan is from Little Rock where he graduated in 2015 from the Baptist Preparatory School. He is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Peyton Ramsey is a senior at Mississippi College where she studies criminal justice with a minor in psychology. Peyton is a 2016 graduate from Bryant High School in her hometown of Bryant. She is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Rose Stewart-Maddox is a sophomore at the University of Arkansas and is studying pre-law, social work and criminology. Stewart-Maddox is a 2018 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. She is working in the Northwest Arkansas District Office.
Jordan Williams-Smith is a freshman at Arkansas Baptist College where he studies public administration. Jordan is a 2019 graduate of the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in his hometown of Little Rock. He is working in the Community Engagement Department.
Rutledge Obtains Settlement from Health Insurer, Premera, Over Failure to Protect Sensitive Data of Millions of ConsumersThu, Jul 11, 2019
“Visiting your health provider should not result in a loss of privacy”
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed a settlement requiring Premera Blue Cross to implement safeguards to protect sensitive consumer information and to pay $57,244.33 to the State of Arkansas over its failure to secure sensitive consumer data, a violation of the Personal Information Protection Act. Premera’s insufficient data security exposed highly sensitive health and personal information of nearly 20,000 Arkansans and more than 10.4 million consumers nationwide. Rutledge was joined in the suit and settlement with 29 other state attorneys general.
“Whether you are sick or just getting a check-up, visiting your health provider should not result in a loss of privacy regarding personal information,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Premera misled Arkansans into believing that their personal information was secure.”
From May 5, 2014 until March 6, 2015, a hacker had unauthorized access to the Premera network containing sensitive personal information including: private health information, Social Security numbers, bank account information, names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, member identification numbers and email addresses. The hacker took advantage of multiple known weaknesses in Premera’s data security. For years prior to the breach, cybersecurity experts and the company’s own auditors repeatedly warned Premera of its inadequate security program, yet the company accepted many of the risks without fixing its practices.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which governs health insurers, Premera is required to implement administrative, physical and technical safeguards that reasonably and appropriately protect sensitive consumer information.
Today’s settlement also requires Premera to:
- Ensure its data security program protects personal health information as required by law.
- Regularly assess and update its security measures.
- Provide data security reports, completed by a third-party security expert approved by Attorney General Rutledge and the attorneys general of other states participating in the settlement.
- Hire a chief information security officer, a separate position from the chief information officer. The information security officer must be experienced in data security and HIPAA compliance and will be responsible for implementing, maintaining and monitoring the company’s security program.
- Hold regular meetings between the chief information security officer and Premera’s executive management. The information security officer must meet with Premera’s CEO every two months and inform the CEO of any unauthorized intrusion into the Premera network within 48 hours of discovery.
Today’s multistate settlement against Premera also includes Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington.
Rutledge Obtains Over $600,000 Judgment Against The Resort PlaceMon, Jul 8, 2019
Says, ‘being held responsible for its unacceptable business practices’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge obtained a judgment valued at more than $600,000 against The Resort Place LLC and owners Jay Allen Edmonson and Dora Ann Edmonson. The Resort Place operated under the names Resort Place Travel and C4Success. Based on allegations in the complaint, The Resort Place failed to book pre-paid vacations and used consumers’ credit card information to pay for other consumers’ vacations.
“The Resort Place is being held responsible for its unacceptable business practices and causing 47 consumers to lose their hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I’m dedicated to protecting Arkansans from these types of deceptive business practices.”
The judgment, which was filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court, orders The Resort Place to pay $162,614.00 in restitution to consumers. The Edmonsons must also pay $10,000 in civil penalties for each affected consumer, totaling $470,000. The Resort Place’s business license has been revoked, and the Edmonsons have been barred from owning an online travel agency or working as travel agents in the future.
Rutledge filed a consumer-protection lawsuit against The Resort Place in February 2017 after receiving a number of consumer complaints. The settlement concludes a multi-year investigation into The Resort Place.