Favorite

What is Leslie Rutledge hiding? 

Leslie Rutledge, the Republican nominee for attorney general, is stonewalling attempts to understand why superiors said should she not be rehired after abruptly resigning as a juvenile court lawyer for the Department of Human Services effective Dec. 3, 2007. A supervisor, in a note added to her file 10 days after she left, stated the reason was "gross misconduct."

An examination of Rutledge's personnel file is limited by state law. Records that constitute job evaluations are exempt from disclosure under the open records law unless an employee has been fired or suspended. Employees may voluntarily release such records, however Rutledge refuses to allow release of all her personnel records. She also did not return calls after a limited document release produced emails to and from her that demonstrated she'd mishandled aspects of at least three cases — two adoptions and an appearance in juvenile court. Failure to call a subpoenaed witness in juvenile court prompted a supervisor to ask Rutledge to meet with her Nov. 15, 2007. DHS records contain no further e-mails by Leslie Rutledge after that supervisor's final request for a meeting and Dec. 3, when her resignation took effect.

The Democrat-Gazette did get a response from Rutledge to calls from Democrats that she disclose all relevant information about her work history for the state.

"I have no confidence in those files and what is contained in those records," Rutledge said. "The real concern [should be] how and why a state agency would change an employee's personnel file 10 days after they resigned voluntarily."

Does she have no confidence in her own e-mails, which reflect problems — perhaps minor, we still don't know — in three cases? We do know that it is not unusual for employers to add notes to former employees files after departure, particularly when differences existed and repercussions were possible. Rutledge had been hired on an "emergency" basis while Mike Huckabee, a Republican was governor. Her father, Keith Rutledge, was a Huckabee supporter and his drug czar.

Here's what we also know:

Leslie Rutledge seeks to be the state's top lawyer, attorney general.

On account of purported "gross misconduct," Rutledge would not be eligible to be hired by a state agency the attorney general represents.

DHS files contain more information about Rutledge's mishandling of cases. Rutledge refuses to allow that information to be released.

Rutledge has had at least nine jobs since graduating from law school in 2001 and the work has left few notable marks. Apart from a few months in private practice in Jacksonville and her establishment of a personal law firm in Little Rock when she returned from Washington after the 2012 election, her jobs have been in partisan political or government/patronage positions. A family friend hired her as Court of Appeals law clerk; she worked for 14 months for a Republican prosecutor (on which she bases her campaign claim that she's an "experienced prosecutor); she worked 10 months for Gov. Mike Huckabee before an abrupt departure (she had no new job and didn't find one with the Lonoke prosecutor until a couple of months later), and she worked for the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and the Republican National Committee. A search of the state and federal eastern district court databases turns up no cases in which Rutledge has participated as a lawyer since a divorce case in 2007.

Work history counts. To borrow from Rutledge, it's hard to have confidence in her based on the sketchiness of her resume. She should open the doors to a full inspection of her work for children in distress. She won't. Voters deserve better and should remember that in considering the deeper record of her Democratic opponent, Nate Steel.

Since the column was published, Rutledge has further demonstrated she's unfit for office. See here and here.

Max Brantley is on vacation. This column appeared first on the Arkansas Blog.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of Leslie Rutledge

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.
    • Jul 27, 2017
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • IBS, you're from Chicago, right? Hillary's from Chicago. Your monomania against Hillary is puzzling and…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • When we had not one but TWO shit candidates running for president, is it really…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Buyer remorse

    • So Gene Lyons says all people who voted for Trump fall into just two categories…

    • on July 27, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation