Late last month, I wrote about the ongoing affair between Laurie Rushing (R-Hot Springs) and Ken Henderson (R-Russellville). In that post, I noted that Henderson’s wife had filed some interesting Requests for Admission in their divorce case just after Christmas (December 27, to be exact).
Well, on January 30, Henderson filed responses to those RFAs, denying that he had any kind affair or relationship with Rushing. (He did, however, admit to having the Mariott Rewards credit card, just in case you were wondering.)
You’re probably thinking, “wait…why would he do that, since that affair is the worst-kept secret in the Arkansas legislature?” To which I say, I honestly don’t know. I do know, however, that if I were Henderson’s wife, I would be lining up a whole bunch of people for depositions. Jeremy Gillam (R-Judsonia) would be first on my list, since, as Speaker of the House, he is rumored to have told both Henderson and Rushing to stop being so obvious about their relationship. I would probably also want to take the depositions of anyone who went on any of the junkets with Henderson and Rushing. Rep. Jim Dotson (R-Bentonville), Rep. Karilyn Brown (R-Sherwood), Rep. Grant Hodges (R-Rogers), and/or former Rep. Nate Bell, for example, might have some useful information.
BUT…it is also possible that such depositions would be unnecessary. You see, Ark. R. Civ. P. 36 requires that RFAs be answered within thirty days. If they are not, the substance of the RFAs is deemed admitted by the party who should have answered. Now, that thirty-day deadline can be extended by an agreement between the parties1, and such an agreement will usually not appear in the court record. If there was no such agreement in this case, however, we’ve got ourselves an issue.
Henderson’s wife served and filed her RFAs on December 27, 2017. You don’t count that day as one of the thirty under the procedural rules, but that would still mean that Henderson’s responses were due on January 26, 2018. He did not even get his answers notarized or sent to his lawyer until January 27th, when he appears to have gone into a Little Rock bank2, had the answers notarized, and then sent a picture of the notarized page to his attorney.
Those answers were not served on the other attorney or filed with the Pope County Circuit Court until January 30, 2017. Since the 27th was a Saturday, and Pope County does not have electronic filing, the 30th (a Monday) makes sense if Henderson had mistakenly thought that his responses were due on the 27th (a Saturday), rather than the 26th. But, inasmuch as December 2017 had the same 31 days in it that previous Decembers have had, the 27th was a day too late. So that could wind up being interesting.
Also interesting are Henderson’s wife’s responses to the RFAs that Henderson filed. Rather than weird blanket denials of things that could come back to bite a person, her responses actually admitted some things and also contained explanations for partial denials3. Two responses jumped out as especially interesting:
This is correct, both because there is no such thing as “the Pulaski County Police Department” and because Laurie Rushing’s report that she filed with the Little Rock Police Department was not criminal in nature.
That police report, however, becomes even more interesting in light of this response, however:
Oh, man. First, assuming she has the video of them arriving back from the Caribbean together, how ridiculous are Ken Henderson’s denials of a relationship with Laurie Rushing going to look to the judge?
Second, they arrived back in Little Rock together at the airport on the evening of January 7, 2018, and that is when (according to Henderson) his wife confronted Rushing. Yet Rushing did not file a police report until January 8 at 10:30 in the morning. In her report, Rushing makes it sound as if Ken Henderson was nowhere near the airport — she said that she called him to tell him about his wife being near Rushing’s car and that Rushing “left with some friends to avoid any trouble.” Oddly, the only thing Rushing accuses Henderson’s wife of actually doing is “standing by [Rushing’s] car” in the parking deck at the airport, though she makes a reference to being “attacked” at a funeral in November.
Which do you think is more likely in this situation: that Henderson’s wife just happened to know when Laurie Rushing was arriving back from a “family4 trip” — which, oddly, did not seem to involve any family and only “some friends” — and drove from Russellville to Little Rock to harass Rushing in the parking deck at 7:45 at night in January?
OR that Henderson’s wife knew when Henderson and Rushing were going to return from “a romantic trip in the Caribbean” and drove to Little Rock to get video evidence of Henderson and Rushing’s arrival, and that, realizing that they’d been caught on video, Rushing and Henderson then put their enormous brainpower together and decided to call the police5 and pretend like Henderson’s wife had harassed Rushing out of the blue and that Henderson was nowhere to be seen?
Based on what we know about Rushing and Henderson so far, as well as what is coming in future posts about Rushing, I think the answer is pretty clear who is telling the truth about the airport situation and about everything else.