September 30, 2015 Edition

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Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (left) speaks to area leaders at a round table discussion held at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in Walnut Ridge on Tuesday afternoon. Among those in attendance were Williams Baptist College President Dr. Tom Jones (center) and City of Walnut Ridge Administrative Assistant Sharon Henson.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Rutledge hosts round table in WR

Gretchen Hunt
Editor

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was in Walnut Ridge Tuesday afternoon to meet with area leaders in what she refers to as a Rutledge Roundtable.

"We started these Rutledge Roundtables based on a lesson I learned while flagging traffic during the summers when I was in college," Rutledge said.

She went on to explain that often there is a disconnect between the working people and the people who are making the decisions.

"I don't want there to be a disconnect," she said. "I want to know what we can do at the state level to help."

Following Tuesday's Lawrence County Roundtable, Rutledge said she has held similar meetings in approximately 40 counties, and hopes to be in all 75 counties by the end of the year.

"It gives me a chance to sit down with local leaders," Rutledge said of the roundtables. "The most important thing is to hear from the communities."

Rutledge said the Mobile Office, which was in Walnut Ridge in August, is also an avenue her office uses to reach out throughout the state.

She said one of the most important services her office does is protect Arkansans as consumers through alerts, which any resident can sign up to receive. They report on current scams, and also request individuals to contact them with any suspected scams.

"We want to make sure the public is aware that we will do the fighting for them," Rutledge said.

Social Security fraud, Medicaid fraud and cyber crimes are among the units that are designed to protect the citizens.

"It's about protecting the public through law enforcement efforts and protecting them against bad business that would harm them," she said.

Rutledge said it was good to be in Northeast Arkansas, which she considers home, having been raised in Independence County. A graduate of Southside, near Batesville, she recalled traveling to Williams Baptist College for tournaments.

She expressed her appreciation to those who attended the roundtable, including State Rep. James Ratliff and Andrea Allen with Congressman Rick Crawford's office.

"It is important that we all work together - local, state and federal," she said.

More information on services provided by the Attorney General's Office can be found online at arkansasag.gov.

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