An employee with the Democratic Party of Arkansas (DPA) has filed a lawsuit against the Arkansas Department of Human Services to release the personnel file of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, which would include her termination files.
The lawsuit, which was filed Friday, looks to have the full personnel file released as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. The lawsuit alleges that only a part of Rutledge's file was provided and the rest was denied due to "public interest issues."
"No emails between Rutledge's supervisors are included beyond the one termination email, no emails directing Rutledge on how to do or not do her job are included, and no emails on how good of a job she is doing are included," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also claims that the documents provided to Reed Brewer, a communications director for the DPA, was the same provided in 2014. The lawsuit states that the "2014 file was admittedly incomplete and Leslie Rutledge claimed at the time that her 'personnel records had been altered by DHS employees.'"
In 2007, Rutledge voluntary quit working as a staff attorney for DHS, but the file was later amended to say she was terminated for "gross misconduct." She was then added to a "do-not-re-hire" list by the department.
"There is a compelling public interest in releasing job performance records about the firing the State's chief law enforcement officer who is entrusted with millions of taxpayer dollars. All taxpayers have a right to know the basis of her termination," the lawsuit states.
Mike Lee, the Democratic Attorney General candidate, sent a press release asking Rutledge to "tell the voters of Arkansas about all of her work history."
"We don't know what Leslie Rutledge's true work history is or isn't," Lee said. "But we do know one thing, she has a 'Do Not Hire' flag on her record from her past employer, the Department of Human Services."
In response to the lawsuit, Rutledge said the "desperate Democratic Party" were "dragging up decade-old fake news and once again lying to voters" and that "Arkansans are much smarter than the Democrats give them credit for being."
Below is her full statement:
"The desperate Democratic Party and my opponent are dragging up decade-old fake news and once again lying to voters, but Arkansans are much smarter than the Democrats give them credit for being. The voters saw through this deceptive nonsense in 2014 when they rejected it at the polls, and they will see through the liberal lies again this November. I have traveled to all 75 counties each year meeting with Arkansans in their hometowns promoting transparency with a solid record of fighting against criminals, con artists and an overreaching federal government.
"As I said in 2014 and the record is clear: I voluntarily resigned my position with DHS on December 3, 2007, to immediately begin working on my friend and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign. 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. Arkansans, just like all Americans, are tired of dishonest Democratic bureaucrats altering files and changing records for political purposes."