Rutledge Marks 100 Days in Office
April 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.