Rutledge Announces Attorney General Mobile OfficesTue, Apr 28, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Saturday, April 25, at the Associated Press Managing Editors Association Annual Conference in Hot Springs that she is launching a new initiative to help take the Attorney General’s Office to Arkansans. Rutledge is starting Attorney General Mobile Offices, which will take the office to all 75 counties over the next year. The first two stops will be in Hot Springs Village on May 6 and Bella Vista on May 12.
“An elderly couple in Jasper or Eudora should not have to be scared to get on the Internet, pick up the phone or drive to Little Rock in order to speak to someone in the Attorney General’s Office,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Over and over, I hear that Arkansans do not know the ways my office can serve and assist them. As the people’s lawyer, I want to be accessible to everyone, and that means taking the office outside of the capital city. No issue is too small for my staff to have a face-to-face conversation, and I hope Arkansans will take advantage of this new program from the Attorney General’s Office.”
Attorney General Mobile Offices will assist constituents who are having consumer issues and help them file consumer complaints against scam artists. Staff will be available to answer questions about the office and the various services it offers to constituents.
For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s Office, visit arkansasag.gov or call (501) 682-2007.
Attorney General Mobile Office schedule:
Hot Springs Village - May 6
9 a.m. – noon
Coronado Community Center
150 Ponderosa Ln.
Hot Springs Village, AR 71909
Bella Vista - May 12
9 a.m. – noon
Bella Vista City Hall
101 Town Center
Bella Vista, AR 72714
Rutledge Signs Statement of Support for Guard and ReserveMon, Apr 27, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today signed a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Army Reserve. The statement encourages the employment of Guardsman and Reservists across the State and in the Attorney General’s Office.
On hand for the signing ceremony were officials with the Arkansas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR); Sen. Jane English, North Little Rock, Arkansas’s ESGR chairwoman; and Marcus Hatley, senior director of military and veterans affairs at the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office
“I am committed to working with and supporting our military servicemen and servicewomen,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These heroes bring an incredible value to any workplace, along with a global perspective and proven leadership, and they deserve employers who support their ongoing commitment to serve our country.”
The Statement of Support pledges:
- We fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act.
- Our managers and supervisors will have the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
- We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
- We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families in peace, in crises and in war.
The ESGR, a U.S. Department of Defense agency, was started in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. For more information about ESGR Employer Outreach, visit ESGR.mil.
Rutledge Urges the EPA to Withdraw Federal Implementation Plan for Regional HazeFri, Apr 24, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding a proposed consent decree that would obligate the EPA to promulgate a Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze.
The comments request the EPA to withdraw the proposed settlement citing that the plan is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act. In the comments, Rutledge also says that the Sierra Club lacks standing in the suit, Sierra Club v. McCarthy, which gave rise to the settlement.
“I am urging the parties not to enter into this consent decree because it is inappropriate for the EPA to make decisions for the State of Arkansas because of pressure exerted by a California organization that cannot establish that it has legal right to seek jurisdiction in the court,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas has offered plan after plan to address regional haze, and each time it is never enough for the EPA. I have a responsibility to protect the interest of Arkansans from unreasonable and unnecessary utility rate increases, which is where this will lead. The EPA is putting the interest of the Sierra Club above the interests of the State, and I will not stand for that.”
Rutledge has filed these comments after the EPA held a public hearing in Arkansas on the proposed Federal Implementation Plan for Regional Haze.
A copy of the comment letter submitted to the EPA can be viewed here.
Attorney General Calls on Arkansans to Participate in Prescription Drug Take Back DayFri, Apr 24, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she will participate in Arkansas’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 25, at Ferguson’s Furniture, the Benton Police Department’s collection site.
“This is a great initiative that reminds everyone of the harmful effects improper disposal of medication can have on children, adults and the environment,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I look forward to joining Chief Kirk Lane and his dedicated officers, as well as members of the Benton community, and I encourage all Arkansans to find their local collection site and participate in Take Back Day to make our State a safer place.”
More than 100 police stations, fire departments, community centers and other locations across Arkansas are opening their doors on Saturday for citizens to return unwanted or expired medications. A complete list of collection sites for Take Back Day, as well as permanent, year-round collection sites, is available at artakeback.org. Sites will be open for collection this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Authorities will be collecting prescription medicines, over the counter medicines, vitamins, pet medicines, medicated ointments and lotions, inhalers, liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers and medicine samples.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Take Back events nationally have taken nearly 5 million pounds of prescription medications out of circulation. Since 2010, 62 tons of that amount were medications disposed of through Arkansas’s Take Back events.
Details of Attorney General Rutledge’s stop in Benton:
What: Participates in Arkansas’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day
When: Saturday, April 25
1:30 – 2 p.m.
Where: Ferguson’s Furniture
1200 Ferguson Drive
Benton, AR 72015
Pulaski County Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography ChargesThu, Apr 23, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that a Pulaski County man has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and has been sentenced to 40 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on 10 counts of distributing, viewing or possessing sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. Rutledge released the following statement:
“I appreciate the hard work of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit and the Little Rock Police Department for conducting a thorough investigation to make sure this individual does not continue to exploit and endanger our children. The Attorney General’s Office will continue to pursue these individuals across the State.”
Christopher Boyd, 54, of Little Rock was sentenced by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson. Boyd will be required to register as a sex offender. He has previous convictions for possession of child pornography and failing to register as a sex offender in California.
Special Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit arrested Boyd in April 2014 after executing a search warrant at Boyd’s residence. Agents conducted a forensic exam on Boyd’s computer and found evidence that he downloaded and viewed child pornography.
The Little Rock Police Department assisted in the arrest and investigation.
Rutledge Marks 100 Days in OfficeWed, Apr 22, 2015
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today marked her 100th day in office by highlighting several achievements made during her administration. She took office on Jan. 13, 2015.
“I am proud of the accomplishments that have been achieved during the first 100 days of my administration,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We have pushed back on federal overreach, fought to uphold Arkansas’s lethal injection statute and worked hard to protect Arkansans from predators and con artists. While it is good to note these achievements, there is much more to do as we continue to serve the people of Arkansas.”
The following are highlights of Attorney General Rutledge’s first 100 days.
ExxonMobil consent decree:
On her 100th day in office, Rutledge announced that a consent decree has been reached with ExxonMobil Pipeline Company and Mobil Pipe Line Company (ExxonMobil) to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and State environmental laws stemming from the 2013 crude oil spill from the Pegasus Pipeline in Mayflower. ExxonMobil will pay $1 million in State civil penalties, $600,000 toward water quality-based Supplemental Environmental Projects and $280,000 to the Attorney General’s Office for litigation costs. ExxonMobil will also pay $3.19 million in federal civil penalties and perform measures to improve pipeline safety and spill response.
Arkansas joined a coalition of 18 other states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Justice to reach a settlement to resolve allegations that Standard & Poor’s Financial Services misled investors when it rated structured finance securities leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. Arkansas received $21.5 million from the settlement. Rutledge will distribute this money to support public safety and law enforcement programs, sexual assault victims, career education and workforce training, Safe Schools Initiative, Missing Persons Program, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, and volunteer fire departments.
Arkansas joined Texas, Louisiana and Nebraska in a federal lawsuit filed against the U.S. Department of Labor, challenging the agency’s rule that would have changed the definition of the term “spouse” under the Family Medical Leave Act to adopt same-sex marriage nationwide. The court agreed with the states, and an injunction is currently in place.
Arkansas is part of a 26-state coalition fighting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s deferred-action program regarding immigration. An injunction is in place preventing President Obama’s executive actions from moving forward.
Rutledge testified before a U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform & Oversight Subcommittee on the Interior to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed 111(d) rule that seeks to reduce carbon emissions from electric generating units, as well as other EPA proposals and their impacts on states.
And she testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to discuss how Arkansas would be adversely affected by a rule proposed by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purporting to clarify the agencies’ regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act regarding “navigable waters.”
Arkansas Amendment 83:
Rutledge submitted a motion to the Arkansas Supreme Court requesting a second oral argument in the appeal of the challenge against Amendment 83, the law that defines marriages in Arkansas as between one man and one woman, to the Arkansas Constitution.
David Raymond West of Jacksonville pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and was sentenced to 20 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on five counts of distributing, viewing or possessing sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony. West will be required to register as a sex offender. Agents with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit arrested West after executing a search warrant at West’s residence. Agents conducted a forensic exam on West’s computer and found evidence that he downloaded and viewed child pornography.
State’s lethal injection statute upheld:
After months of ongoing litigation, the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Arkansas’s death penalty law that provides for executions to occur by lethal injection.
Tristan S. Gill of Bradley County was sentenced to five years in the Arkansas Department of Correction, with three years suspended, on one count of adult abuse and one count of criminal use of property. While Gill was employed as a residential care technician at Southeast Arkansas Human Development Center, he used a spray bottle belonging to the facility to spray bleach in a developmentally disabled client’s face. The victim suffered chemical burns on his face and blistering for several days but no permanent injury.
The Attorney General’s Office will hire its first solicitor general to assist with the growing number of large multi-state consumer protection cases and increasingly complex appellate matters at the state and national levels.