The state’s top law enforcement officer and consumer advocate told Conway Rotarians on Thursday that the Attorney General’s office has "Got Your Back."
AG Dustin McDaniel said he’s proud of a new program that connects consumers who have been wronged to "real people" in his office who are poised to help, no matter the size of the complaint.
The website is http://gotyourbackarkansas.org and is part of the Consumer Protection Division.
Whether it’s multi-million dollar settlements against big pharmaceuticals or a complaint from a woman who continued to get a 47 cent charge on a bill she didn’t owe, he said his office is the champion of the consumer.
Peppered throughout the room at Conway Country Club were several of Faulkner County’s elected officials, including County Judge Preston Scroggin, Sheriff Karl Byrd, State Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow; State Rep. Linda Tyler, D-Conway; Circuit Clerk Rhonda Wharton, Circuit Judge Ed Clawson, among others, and Dr. Terry Kimbrow, president of Central Baptist College.
McDaniel, a Jonesboro native, was introduced by Faulkner County Attorney Allen Dodson.
McDaniel was quick to praise Conway for its "true faith in investing in the future," mentioning development of the new airport and the cooperation among high-tech companies — HP, Acxiom and PrivacyStar — and the three colleges.
"Students come here for college, but because of Conway’s vision — and you do have a vision — those students want to stay and invest in their future here."
He said the recent PrivacyStar announcement that the nascent company would add 120 jobs over two years, paying salaries of $77,000 a year, bodes well for the community.
"Those are salaries that buy houses, buy cars, support local businesses," McDaniel said.
McDaniel said a recent arrest in Faulkner County by the Cyber Crimes Unit was the biggest catch so far in the year-old department.
The arrest was for 10 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony.
With obvious distaste at recalling the details of the case, McDaniel said the Cyber Crimes Unit’s job is to protect the county’s children from such Internet predators.
McDaniel said he has been active in working with nine other Attorneys General throughout the country to dampen the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agency whose decisions are often rooted in ideology, not science, he said.
"We do not need more burdensome and costly federal regulations that will threaten important agri jobs, and negatively impact our overall economy."
And the 2014 Governor’s race?
Yes, McDaniel said he will be pursuing the Governor’s office. He’s filed papers and made the announcement, saying he wants his plans to be known.
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at email@example.com and 505-1234.)