Benton Co. Settles Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Former Sheriff Cradduck

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BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) — Documents filed in Benton County show the details of a settlement that was reached with three county employees who filed a federal lawsuit against former Sheriff Kelley Cradduck.

Robin Holt, Megan Rutledge and Dianna Goodwin, who all work for the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, each received $10,000 in the settlement after they filed a lawsuit claiming the sheriff violated their rights to free speech and association. It also stated Cradduck violated the state Whistleblowers Act by retaliating against the women when they cooperated with an Arkansas State Police investigation into the sheriff.

The settlement was reached in June and the lawsuit was dismissed later that month. The money comes from the Association of Arkansas Counties.

The plaintiffs each got $10,000 and their attorneys received $20,000.

As part of the settlement, Holt, Rutledge and Goodwin agreed to have no future claims against Cradduck and the county in connection to the lawsuit.

Cradduck resigned in April in exchange for a $80,000 buyout from the county and later that month pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor tampering charge after he was accused of ordering employees to alter payroll records for a jailer he had hired and then to lie to ASP, who investigated the allegations.

Holt is a lieutenant at the jail, Rutledge also works at the jail and Goodwin was Cradduck’s administrative assistant.


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