Rutledge Statement on the Passing of Former Congressman Jay DickeyFri, Apr 21, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statement on the passing of former Fourth District Congressman Jay Dickey.
“It would be hard to find a kinder man who enjoyed nothing more than traveling the Fourth Congressional District, telling stories and visiting with the people he represented than Jay Dickey. No matter the job he held or where it took him, Jay never forgot his south Arkansas roots. During his time in Congress, he worked tirelessly to help the Fourth Congressional District grow and prosper and to help solve any challenge facing his constituents. Jay was a man of deep faith, and I know he met his Lord and Savior when he left us on this earth. May God bring comfort and peace to Jay’s family and friends and all those across Arkansas who loved and knew him.”
Rutledge Statement Following the Execution of Inmate Ledell LeeFri, Apr 21, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following the execution by lethal injection of inmate Ledell Lee.
“Tonight the lawful sentence of a jury which has been upheld by the courts through decades of challenges has been carried out. The family of the late Debra Reese, who was brutally murdered with a tire thumper after being targeted because she was home alone, has waited more than 24 years to see justice done. I pray this lawful execution helps bring closure for the Reese family.”
Facts of the case and procedural history:
Ledell Lee was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in Pulaski County in 1996. In February 1993, Lee strangled and beat Debra Reese with a tire thumper, resulting in her death. On the morning of the murder, Lee had been going door to door in Reese’s neighborhood asking to borrow tools. Lee, a serial kidnapper and rapist, targeted Reese after he discovered she was home alone. Reese was last heard from when she telephoned her mother to tell her about the encounter with Lee, which left her uneasy. Reese’s battered body was discovered in her bedroom later that same day.
The Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed Lee’s conviction and sentence on direct appeal in 1997. Thereafter, Lee filed a petition for post-conviction relief that was denied by the circuit court, and the denial was affirmed by the Arkansas Supreme Court on appeal. Lee’s petition for post-conviction relief was reconsidered by the circuit court after a U.S. District Court judge found that Lee’s post-conviction counsel might have been impaired during the proceedings. Following a hearing on his amended petition for post-conviction relief, Lee was again denied relief by the circuit court, and the Arkansas Supreme Court again affirmed the denial on appeal. Lee also sought relief in a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed in federal court, and it was denied. Lee unsuccessfully tried to appeal the denial, first to the 8th Circuit Court and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lee filed an application for executive clemency citing separate conflicts of interest with counsel and the trial judge, reasonable doubt as to his guilt, an offer of a life sentence from the State and a change in societal acceptance of the death penalty as bases for relief. A clemency hearing was held on March 24, and Lee’s application was denied.
Rutledge Announces Arrest of Faulkner County Man for Crimes Involving ChildrenTue, Apr 18, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of Jason Blade Coppock of Mayflower on 30 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony.
Coppock, 26, was arrested by the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Department on warrants obtained by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit. He is being held in the Faulkner County Jail on $250,000 bond.
Special agents in the Attorney General’s office began investigating Coppock after agents determined that someone using a computer at Coppock’s address downloaded sexually explicit material involving children.
Rutledge Statement Following U.S. Supreme Court Refusal to Lift Stay of Execution on Inmate Don DavisMon, Apr 17, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement tonight after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected her request to lift the stay on Inmate Don Davis’ scheduled execution.
“It is heartbreaking that the family of Jane Daniel has once again seen justice delayed. Davis was convicted of his crimes in 1992, and my office took every action it could today to see that justice was carried out. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court has the final say and has decided not to lift the stay at this time.
“There are five scheduled executions remaining with nothing preventing them from occurring, but I will continue to respond to any and all legal challenges brought by the prisoners. The families have waited far too long to see justice, and I will continue to make that a priority.”
Rutledge Files Lawsuit Against U.S. Business ServicesThu, Apr 13, 2017
Says, ‘These unlawful actions and misrepresentations by this Florida company are wrong and must be stopped’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today filed a consumer-protection lawsuit in Pulaski County Circuit Court against Florida-based U.S. Business Services LLC for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
“Using what looks like an official government tax notice or notification, U.S. Business Services has managed to convince many unsuspecting Arkansas business owners that they are failing to follow the law and that, for a fee, the company can help,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “These unlawful actions and misrepresentations by this Florida company are wrong and must be stopped before more are harmed.”
U.S. Business Services solicits business in Arkansas via direct mailings and offers to prepare and provide, for a $150 fee, corporate consent records in lieu of meeting minutes that fulfill the requirements of Arkansas law. However, U.S. Business Services selectively quotes portions of Arkansas law to convey only those portions that would legitimize the solicitation, and the mailed documents are specifically designed to give the average consumer the impression that it is official in nature and required by a government entity.
To date, the office has received 32 complaints about the business practices of U.S. Business Services, and many others have contacted the office by phone in order to report the scam. Of the 27 consumers who have filed formal complaints, at least three of them paid $150 to the company as the form instructed. After speaking with the Secretary of State’s office, Rutledge learned that it had also received numerous reports, inquiries and complaints regarding U.S. Business Services’ harmful practices.
Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution, attorneys’ fees, costs and other relief against U.S. Business Services. If consumers in Arkansas have paid U.S. Business Services and have not already contacted the Attorney General’s office, please file a consumer complaint at ArkansasAG.gov.
Rutledge Announces Izard County Man Sentenced for Property TheftWed, Apr 12, 2017
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the conviction of an Izard County man for property theft by deception.
Clifton Davis pleaded guilty in Pulaski County Circuit Court and was sentenced to five years probation and to pay $5,232 in restitution to the Arkansas Medicaid Program, $500 in fines and court costs.
“Investigators and attorneys from the Attorney General’s office work each day to investigate and prosecute individuals, like this man, who defraud the system,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Medicaid is a critical safety net for some of the most vulnerable Arkansans, and both Davis and his caregiver took advantage of the program. I will continue to ensure that people attempting to defraud Arkansas taxpayers are held accountable.”
Davis, 51, of Melbourne, pleaded guilty to theft of property by deception, a Class C felony, for marrying his Medicaid caregiver and continuing to receive care, which would make the caregiver ineligible to be paid by the Medicaid program for providing care to Davis. Davis’ co-defendant is scheduled for a hearing June 5.
This case was initiated by a referral from the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and was prosecuted in coordination with the 6th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.
To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, complete the online form at ArkansasAG.gov, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or email email@example.com.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. She is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected to the office. Since taking office, she has begun a Mobile Office program, a Military and Veterans Initiative, a Metal Theft Prevention program and a Cooperative Disability Investigations program. She has led efforts to teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge also serves as Vice Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association and re-established and co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture.
A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for Gov. Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and subsequently was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.