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Rutledge Praises Unanimous Decision Overturning Injunction Blocking Dismemberment Abortion Ban

Rutledge Praises Unanimous Decision Overturning Injunction Blocking Dismemberment Abortion Ban

Fri, Aug 7, 2020

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a response following today’s U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit decision vacating the U.S. District Court’s injunction against four Arkansas abortion laws.

“Arkansas has taken a strong stance to protect the unborn from inhumane treatment,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As Arkansas’s chief legal officer, I have always advocated for the lives of unborn children and will continue to defend our State’s legal right to protect the unborn. No defenseless baby should ever face the unimaginable and horrifying fate of death by dismemberment.”

The Arkansas General Assembly overwhelmingly passed the four challenged laws in 2017, which Governor Asa Hutchinson then signed into law. These laws—the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act; the Sex Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act; an amendment regarding the disposal of fetal remains; and an amendment addressing the maintenance of fetal remain samples—were preliminarily enjoined by federal district court Judge Kristine Baker. But on an appeal brought by Attorney General Rutledge, the Eighth Circuit unanimously overturned Judge Baker’s injunction.

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Rutledge Issues Statement on the Political Lawsuits Against the NRA

Rutledge Issues Statement on the Political Lawsuits Against the NRA

Thu, Aug 6, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today issued a statement following the announcement of separate lawsuits filed by attorneys general in New York and the District of Columbia against the National Rifle Association and the NRA Foundation.

“This litigation is nothing more than a political stunt by liberal attorneys general against the NRA to ultimately continue the never-ending assault against our right to bear arms,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “As the State’s chief legal officer, I am committed to protecting and preserving our Second Amendment right and will not permit New York politicians to infringe on Arkansans’ constitutional liberties by attempting to dissolve organizations that don’t align with their anti-American agendas. I would welcome the NRA leadership and their corporation with open arms to call the Natural State home because we are a State which still reveres the Constitution."

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Rutledge Announces Convictions of Booneville and Warren Men by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit

Rutledge Announces Convictions of Booneville and Warren Men by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit

Tue, Jul 28, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the convictions of a Booneville man and a Warren man for separate physical abuse charges.

“Arkansans should never be worried about the care their loved ones are receiving in our State’s residential care facilities and Arkansas’s most vulnerable should always be granted the highest quality care,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Any form of abuse against Arkansans residing in a Medicaid funded facility will not be tolerated by my office.”

Quincy Trotter, 21, of Warren, pleaded guilty to battery in the third degree. Trotter was employed as a Resident Care Technician Assistant at the Southeast Arkansas Human Development Center. On December 3, 2019, Trotter struck a client with his closed fist causing physical injury. Pursuant to a negotiated plea, the defendant was sentenced to complete one year of supervised probation, pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs and complete a course in anger management. The case was prosecuted in coordination with the Tenth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen.

Carlos Nino, 22, of Booneville, pleaded guilty to battery in the second degree. In July, 2019, Nino was employed at the Booneville Human Development Center in Booneville, Arkansas, as a Resident Care Assistant. While on duty, Nino twisted a resident’s arm causing it to break. He was sentenced to probation for 36 months and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus court fees. This case was prosecuted in coordination with the Fifteenth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Tom Tatum.

To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

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Rutledge: Conway Man, Keith Head, Arrested for Stealing Over $43,000 from Residents’ Trust Fund Accounts

Rutledge: Conway Man, Keith Head, Arrested for Stealing Over $43,000 from Residents’ Trust Fund Accounts

Mon, Jul 27, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the arrest of Keith Alan Head, the former owner of Prescott Manor Nursing Center in Prescott, by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Head is accused of emptying or severely depleting residents’ trust fund accounts totaling over $43,000 and charged with one count of theft of property valuing more than $25,000.

Head, 69, of Conway is the registered agent of H.O.P.E Healthcare, LLC, whose principle address is in Conway, and is the management company for KSJ, LLC doing business as Prescott Nursing Center and four other homes in Arkansas. The investigation began on September 27, 2019, when the Arkansas Department of Human Services discovered the residents’ trust fund accounts had been emptied or significantly depleted at several facilities by Head. Referrals were also received by the Prescott Police Department. This joint investigation involved agents from the Arkansas Attorney General's Office, and federal agents with the Offices of Investigation for the Social Security Administration and Health and Human Services. The case will be prosecuted in coordination with Prosecutor Christi McQueen of the 8th North Judicial District.

To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or oag@arkansasag.gov.

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Rutledge Testifies Before President Trump’s National Law Enforcement Commission

Rutledge Testifies Before President Trump’s National Law Enforcement Commission

Wed, Jul 22, 2020

Says, ‘to provide my expertise and recommendations on how we can better support our law enforcement officers by creating stronger community partnerships’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today testified before President Donald J. Trump’s National Law Enforcement Commission’s hearing on the rule of law and respect for law enforcement. In October 2019, President Trump signed Executive Order No. 13896 authorizing U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr to establish the Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. The Commission, appointed by Barr in January, will work directly with national experts to collect and study data to submit recommendations to the President that will focus on strengthening our American law enforcement officials and their ability to serve and protect our communities.

“As the chief law enforcement officer of Arkansas, I was honored to testify before President Trump’s Commission and provide recommendations on how we can better support our law enforcement officers by creating stronger community partnerships, increasing accessibility and funding for law enforcement training and by providing more resources for crisis intervention,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This heated national debate is an opportunity for us to find common ground to resolve long-standing and divisive issues, while finding ways to improve the relationship between our law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.”

General Rutledge has long been a leading advocate for law enforcement and a vocal opponent to the “defund the police” movement. She provides supplemental funding and free training to law enforcement throughout the state and annually recognizes the achievements of officers from all 75 counties. Rutledge also utilizes her roundtables as a forum to pro-actively obtain feedback from local police officers and community leaders.

The full script of the testimony can be found here.

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Rutledge Announces $300,000 Judgment Against Loan Shark Bailey’s Superstore

Rutledge Announces $300,000 Judgment Against Loan Shark Bailey’s Superstore

Mon, Jul 20, 2020

Says, ‘Bailey abused the criminal court system to take advantage of vulnerable Arkansans’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a judgment against Dennis Bailey and the businesses he controls: Bailey’s Superstore, Inc., Bailey’s Bottleshoppe, Brooks Bailey Enterprises, Inc., Bailey’s On Main, Bailey’s Pawn and Gun, and Newsmart Liquor. Rutledge filed a lawsuit against Bailey and his businesses under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act for his illegal use of the criminal court system to collect debts. The judgment requires that Bailey pay $50,000 in restitution, $250,000 in suspended civil penalties and withdraw all outstanding affidavits previously submitted to the Hot Check Coordinator valued at approximately $125,000.

“Bailey abused the criminal court system to take advantage of vulnerable Arkansans who needed money to pay their bills or for emergencies—some even paying for a family member’s funeral,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Anyone who has experienced these illegal business practices should call my office to let us do the fighting for you.”

The complaint filed in July 2019 showed Bailey often loaned large amounts of money to his customers, and as security for the loans, Bailey accepted a signed blank check. When the debt was due, consumers could buy the blank check back for the cost of the original loan plus interest that violates the Arkansas Constitution’s 17 percent usury cap. If the consumer were unable to pay the debt on time, Bailey would add the principal and interest together, enter it as the amount to be paid on the check, and deposit it into one of his business bank accounts. If the check returned unpaid by the bank, Bailey turned those checks over to the prosecuting attorney’s office for enforcement under Arkansas’s Hot Check Law despite the law’s clear prohibition against its use for the collection of pre-existing debts. In some instances, consumers who did not repay Bailey’s loans on time were arrested, jailed, and convicted of crimes they never committed.

Under the consent judgment in this case, Bailey and his businesses are permanently restrained and enjoined from offering or providing usurious loans, the deferred deposit of checks for usurious fees, or charging usurious check-cashing fees. He is also enjoined from holding any check, debit or credit card, driver’s license or identification, or EBT card as a promissory note or security for the payment of any money, loan, or debt. He and his businesses are barred from submitting any transaction to any prosecuting attorney’s office for collection or law enforcement action that violates Arkansas law. The judgment bars Bailey from retaliating against any person who reports that their debt to Bailey was wrongfully submitted to law enforcement for collection or who provided information or cooperated with the State in its investigation and prosecution of the case and from threatening consumers with taking any of the above actions. No person employed by or affiliated with Bailey can violate these provisions.

Bailey must cooperate and assist the State to resolve all wrongful arrests or convictions of affected consumers, reinstatement of victims’ wrongfully-suspended licenses, refunds of fees and fines, and expungement of any criminal records.

Victims of these or similar business practices should contact the Attorney General’s office to file a consumer complaint at (800) 482-8982 or go to ArkansasAG.gov.

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