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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is shown in this file photo. - Photo by Staton Breidenthal

Democrats are resurrecting their search for undisclosed records from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s time as a staff attorney at the Department of Human Services, filing a lawsuit they hope will bear fodder for an election campaign against the incumbent Republican.

The lawsuit, filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court Friday by a staff member for the Democratic Party of Arkansas, seeks to force the Department of Human Services to turn over records left out of Rutledge’s publicly released personnel file as well as emails between Rutledge’s former supervisors related to he job performance.

Reed Brewer, a communications director with the state party, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the full un-redacted file July 2, according to the lawsuit, but DHS denied disclosure of portions of the document due to “public interest issues.”

[DOCUMENT: Read the lawsuit]

Rutledge abruptly quit working as an attorney for the agency in 2007 to work on former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign.

After she left, her personnel file was amended to say that she was terminated for gross misconduct, according to portions released during Rutledge’s first successful run for attorney general four years ago. Emails between her bosses included in the file also show Rutledge’s name was added to a “do-not-rehire” list.

Rutledge’s record does not include any details about what she did that constituted “gross misconduct.”

“All taxpayers have a right to know the basis of her termination,” said Chris Burks, an attorney representing Brewer. “The Attorney General is responsible for law enforcement and millions of tax dollars.”

In an written statement, Rutledge responded by accusing Democrats of “dragging up decade-old fake news.”

"On December 13, 2007 — ten days after my voluntary resignation — my former supervisors at DHS scratched out ‘voluntary’ and altered my personnel file to reflect something that was completely false without any notice to me or legal justification for doing so,” Rutledge said. "Arkansans, just like all Americans, are tired of dishonest Democratic bureaucrats altering files and changing records for political purposes."

Mike Lee, the Democrat running against Rutledge in the November election, said in a statement: “The public deserves to know the employment history of anyone they are about to hire, whether it’s a DHS attorney or an attorney general."

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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  • RBear
    August 10, 2018 at 11:51 a.m.

    Never knew this about her. Based on her performance as AG, I can see why she was probably fired. She has consistently been a poor performer in dealing with the legal issues of AR, having to be forced to actually approve ballot measures after rejecting them without real reason.

  • Foghorn
    August 10, 2018 at 12:29 p.m.

    I recall all this being public record making it difficult to believe she was elected to public office with this on her record. The specifics should be made public. If DHS won’t cooperate with the FOIA request, someone will hopefully leak the data. She’s a scum sucking bottom dweller. Lock her up!

  • arky12
    August 10, 2018 at 12:59 p.m.

    She should start with herself and her Party.

  • arky12
    August 10, 2018 at 1:03 p.m.

    These are the things that our censored media due to corporate ownership and partisan interests refuse to tell the public about Republicans. When it comes to Democrats it's another story. How many Democrats vs Republicans do you ever see on the Sunday morning shows? Very few and then they're only allowed on if they agree to talk about Trump or other scripted BS. For some reason, the networks and cable news shows think that the majority of American are not interested in all the facts and instead prefer blood and guts and constant Trump crap. The opposite is true. We want and need truth, facts and the "rest of the story" in order to vote for the right people and that's not happened for a very long time.

  • GOHOGS19
    August 10, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.

    Democrats are getting desparate

  • sjmays
    August 10, 2018 at 1:40 p.m.

    Democrats don't have to do anything. Trump hands everything to them on a platter.

  • dph815
    August 10, 2018 at 2:24 p.m.

    My money is on this being another episode by the old time Democratic Party establishment to tarnish someone they felt to be a threat. Politics as usual for them! Things like this are why they are today on the outside looking in.

  • funkyg
    August 10, 2018 at 3:11 p.m.

    Dems gonna Dem.

  • BoudinMan
    August 10, 2018 at 4:09 p.m.

    Judging by some of the comments here, it seems that as long as there is an "R" behind someone's name, any kind of corrupt, unethical, or illegal action is excused. If there is a "D" behind the name, that person with the same baggage would be damned to hell.

    August 10, 2018 at 4:16 p.m.

    BoudinMan, it's called "hypocrisy." And you can't spell it without an "R."