The taxpayer lawsuit challenging Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s out-of-state legal activities and spending on self-promoting advertising was amended yesterday in hopes of restoring a portion of the claim Judge Alice Gray had dismissed.
Richard Mays, attorney for the plaintiffs, amended the complaint to address the judge’s finding that he hadn’t demonstrated tax funds had been used to pay for some $2 million in public service advertising featuring Rutledge and thus amounted to illegal spending to advance her run for governor.
The judge gave Mays 18 days to amend the complaint over an “illegal exaction” of tax money and this amended complaint is the result. He argues that Rutledge’s office uses tax funds to file lawsuits that have resulted in settlements from which the ads are financed.
Rutledge has argued that all her activities are legal and that the suit should be dismissed. Judge Gray refused to dismiss the part of the lawsuit arguing that the law didn’t allow Rutledge’s numerous interventions in out-of-state legal actions, such as a lawsuit aiming at overturning the election of Joe Biden as president. Rutledge has argued she was acting in the state’s interest to overturn election results in other states because Biden didn’t carry Arkansas.