LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Times) – Attorney General Leslie Rutledge invited media to her office (no video cameras allowed) Wednesday afternoon to release personnel records that a judge said the public was entitled to see of her time as a lawyer in the Children and Family Services Division of the Department of Human Services.
It includes some records pertaining to her handling of juvenile cases that raised question marks in 2014.
The Arkansas Times reports that Rutledge repeated accounts from both 2014 and after this FOI suit was filed that she had resigned to work in Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign and did not know until after the fact that supervisors had put a “do not rehire” notation on her records on account of “gross misconduct.” She said she’d been asked to stay on a couple of weeks when she gave notice, but refused.
Eight pages withheld from FOI compliance in 2014 were released by Rutledge and she provided an explanation for all of them. Read the eight pages HERE.
The Arkansas Times reported in 2014 that there’d been some dissatisfaction with Rutledge’s handling of some cases and a supervisor had wanted to meet with her, but Rutledge resigned before that meeting occurred.
The Arkansas Times writes more on case of particular interest, apparently a repeat occurrence of a failure of DHS attorneys to communicate with social workers subpoenaed for court testimony. One was never called to testify and when she inquired, learned Rutledge had already left for the day. It also notes that she handled two adoptions in a way that could have prevented adoptive families from receiving state subsidies.
The note on gross misconduct was added to Rutledge’s file 10 days after she quit. DHS officials wouldn’t elaborate, nor would Rutledge. She has said this year that she believed the reason was political. But this occurred in 2007, seven years before she appeared as a candidate for attorney general. In the interim, she held a variety of jobs, including with the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C., where she managed to concurrently registered to vote in both Washington and Arkansas.