NewsEvents

Rutledge’s Statement on the Public Service Commission’s Investigation into Liberty Utilities Winter Weather Response

‘My office has opened an investigation into the preparation and actions by Liberty Utilities’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement today following the Arkansas Public Service Commission’s announcement of an investigation into Liberty Utilities for its response to the winter weather damage to the community water supply of Pine Bluff.

“My office has opened an investigation into the preparation and actions by Liberty Utilities which ultimately resulted in a catastrophic failure to protect its customers in Pine Bluff, and to determine whether the company should have done more to protect Jefferson Regional Medical Center, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, residents and essential businesses,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I applaud the Public Service Commission’s decision to also open an investigation into the failure by Liberty Utilities to restore water service to Pine Bluff residents in a reasonable and timely manner.”

Rutledge Responds to Biden Administration’s Request that Supreme Court Cancel Oral Arguments Concerning Arkansas Works

‘This is a politically motivated stunt designed to avoid a Supreme Court decision upholding a program that encourages personal responsibility’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a response to the Biden administration’s motion asking the Supreme Court to cancel oral arguments in Arkansas’s and New Hampshire’s cases concerning Medicaid work requirements while the Biden administration considers ending those requirements. The Biden administration’s request would vacate the lower court’s opinion in this case and leave the future of work requirements unclear.

“Today’s political decision by President Biden’s administration is an attempt by the federal government to end our work requirement that was intended to specifically fit the needs of the Natural State,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This is a politically motivated stunt designed to avoid a Supreme Court decision upholding a program that encourages personal responsibility while still providing healthcare coverage for those seeking gainful employment.”

Arkansas Works is a pilot Medicaid expansion program designed to encourage able-bodied Arkansans, without dependents, to transition into the workforce and build a stronger, more resilient connection with their communities.

The case is Arkansas v. Gresham, No. 20-38.

Attorney General Rutledge Proposes The GIRLS Act

Rutledge introduces ‘Gender Integrity Reinforcement Legislation for Sports Act’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today proposed legislation to ensure equity in women’s sports in the State. The draft legislation is titled “The GIRLS Act” (Gender Integrity Reinforcement Legislation for Sports Act) and seeks to protect access to athletic opportunities for girls and women in K-12 and post-secondary institutions. If passed, it would ensure fair competition by limiting girls’ sports to girls and women’s sports to women in as evidenced by an original birth certificate.

“As a mom of a two-and-a-half year old girl, and having grown up playing a number of sports, I know first-hand the benefit that sports has on developing self-discipline, confidence, teamwork and leadership,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This proposed legislation would make sure that young women in Arkansas can compete on a level playing field—no matter what sport they choose.”

During his first days in office, President Biden signed Executive Order 13988, entitled Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. By signing this executive action, the Biden Administration signaled that it intends to require schools to allow biological boys who self-identify as girls onto girls’ sports teams.

By creating protected space for girls and women’s sports, the legislation proposed by Rutledge’s office provides opportunities for girls and women to demonstrate their skill, strength and athletic abilities while also providing them with opportunities to obtain recognition, accolades, college scholarships and the many other long-term benefits that flow from athletic achievement.

The proposed bill allows anyone who, as a result of a violation of the legislation, is deprived of athletic opportunities or suffers any other harm to seek a court order stopping the violation along with damages and attorney’s fees in a lawsuit against any Arkansas school that violates the legislation.

The lead sponsors of the bill are Senator Missy Irvin of Mountain View and Representative DeAnn Vaught of Horatio.

Attorney General Rutledge Joins Multistate Coalition Urging Biden Administration to Arrest and Remove Unlawful Immigrants Convicted of Sex Crimes

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined a multistate coalition of attorneys general urging President Biden, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Johnson to reverse the Biden Administration’s last-minute cancellation of Operation Talon. Operation Talon is a nationwide ICE operation that focuses on removing illegally present convicted sex offenders from the United States.

“We must protect Arkansans and Americans by continuing with Operation Talon and taking illegal sex offenders off our streets,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Our letter urges President Biden to reverse his cancellation of Operation Talon which played a critical role in combating human trafficking and protecting innocent lives in America.”

The letter argues that canceling Operation Talon could embolden sexual predators who seek to enter the United States illegally and exacerbate issues of sexual assault and trafficking in the immigrant community.

The letter states, “According to data collected by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, during the period from October 2014 to May 2018, ICE arrested 19,752 illegal aliens with criminal convictions for whom the most serious prior conviction was a conviction for a sex-related offense.”

Protesting the cancellation of Operation Talon, the letter says, “The cancellation of this program effectively broadcasts to the world that the United States is now a sanctuary jurisdiction for sexual predators. This message creates a perverse incentive for foreign sexual predators to seek to enter the United States illegally and assault more victims, both in the process of unlawful migration and after they arrive. It will also broadcast the message to other criminal aliens who have committed less heinous offenses that any kind of robust enforcement against them is extremely unlikely.”

The letter also details how human trafficking and sexual assault are endemic issues in the immigrant and migrant communities, especially at the border. The letter, citing the Polaris Project, continues, “the overwhelming majority of victims of sex and/or labor trafficking in the United States were foreign nationals, not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. For cases in which citizenship status was known, 77.5 percent of trafficking victims (4,601 out of 5,939) were not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.”

In addition to Arkansas, state attorneys general from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia also signed on to the letter.

Rutledge Wins Judgment against Deceptive Roofing Company

Greenhagen Exteriors Ordered to pay $172,348 to Consumers and State

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the judgment against Chance and Samone Greenhagen and their company Greenhagen Exteriors, LLC of Little Rock for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA). The Order states that Greenhagen is to pay $72,348 in consumer restitution, $100,000 in civil penalties, and the State’s costs and fees. Additionally, Greenhagen is enjoined from conducting any residential home improvement business until the restitution, civil penalties, fees, and costs are paid in full.

“This judgment should serve as a warning to businesses looking to circumvent business practices to make a quick buck,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I strongly advise Arkansans to contact my office any time a contractor fails to complete a project without getting a refund for work not completed.”

Last May, Rutledge filed the lawsuit against Greenhagen on behalf of five consumers who paid almost $90,000 in advance for roofing and home improvement work. Consumers also filed complaints with the Arkansas Contractor’s Licensing Board, which revoked Greenhagen’s contractor’s licenses and issued a cease and desist order.

If you are a consumer who has been impacted by the actions of Greenhagen or any other contractor, Rutledge encourages you to contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982.

Rutledge: President Biden Removing Support for Medicaid Work Requirement is a Huge Step Backwards for Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued this statement following the decision by the President Biden administration to take action against the state’s Medicaid work requirement waiver.

“It is unfortunate that President Biden and his administration felt compelled to take steps to withdraw the approval of Arkansas’s work-requirement pilot program without giving it an opportunity to succeed,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “The one-size-fits-all Medicaid program doesn’t work. Our work-requirement initiative sought to create a partnership with able-bodied Arkansans to encourage well-being and personal responsibility while still providing healthcare coverage for those seeking gainful employment. Thwarting a reasonable program for strictly political purposes has real consequences for Arkansans and is an overreach of executive power. I urge the Biden Administration to reconsider this decision.”

Arkansas Works is a pilot Medicaid expansion program designed to encourage able-bodied Arkansans, without dependents, to transition into the workforce and build a stronger, more resilient connection with their communities.

March
2
Tuesday

Missing Persons Family Session

2021 Family Sharing Sessions

These sessions will be offered via Zoom from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2 -- REGISTER
Thursday, May 13 -- REGISTER
Tuesday, September 14 -- REGISTER
Thursday, December 2 -- REGISTER


For more information, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

Order copies of the Missing Adult Resource Guide online. Review missing persons resources.

 5:30 PMVIEW 
March
4
Thursday

Scams and Consumer Protection Webcast

10 to 11:30 a.m.
REGISTER

In recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, this free webcast on scams and consumer protection is open to the public and will review resources, common scams and how to avoid them, and identity theft. The Consumer Protection Division represents and protects the State, its subdivisions, legitimate business community and Arkansas consumers.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation; 1.5 hours of CLE and CLEST credit have been approved.

For questions regarding trainings, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
March
10
Wednesday

Vaping Education Webcast

This one-hour presentation is for those who educate or serve youth ages 12-18 and will include e-cigarette health risks, how to avoid vaping devices and stories of those negatively impacted by e-cigarettes.

REGISTER
 10:00 AMVIEW 
March
17
Wednesday

Cyber Safety Education Series

REGISTER

This one-hour training for educators and students third grade and up will discuss how to set limits and provide key tips on how and when to unplug from social media.

Read more about internet safety.

 10:00 AMVIEW 
May
6
Thursday

FOIA webcast

Arkansas Freedom of Information Act
10 a.m. to noon

The webcast, which is free and open to the public, will include FOIA Made Simple presentations by attorneys in the Attorney General’s office detailing responsibilities and rights covered under the act that relate to public meetings and documents.

Two hours of CLE and CLEST credit have been approved.

Order copies of the 2020 handbook.

REGISTER

 10:00 AMVIEW 
November
16
Tuesday

Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit

Rogers Convention Center

The Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit is a free training for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Members of the public may also participate to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.

In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Summit is sponsored by the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Arkansas State Police, Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Office of the State Drug Director, Rotary Clubs of Arkansas, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Arkansas State Medical Board, University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSouth School of Social Work.

Registration and an agenda will be released closer to the event. For questions, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

 8:00 AMVIEW 
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