Lawsuit Dropped Against Cave Springs City Council

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Two former Cave Springs employees have dropped their federal lawsuit accusing some city officials of political retaliation and discrimination.

A clerk’s order issued Friday (April 20) in U.S. District Court accepted a voluntary dismissal from Nathan Coy and Jaci Hawkins.

The suit was dismissed without prejudice, and the pair has one year to refile.

Coy and Jaci Hawkins filed the lawsuit in March 2017, citing retaliation and discrimination from council members Charles Lindley, Mary Ann Winters, Rick Sayre, Larry Fletcher, Randal Noblett, as well as Kim Hutcheson, the city’s Recorder/Treasurer.

According to the suit, the defendants openly opposed and attacked Coy and Hawkins because they were aligned with Cave Springs Mayor Travis Lee.

Lee, the council and Hutcheson have butted heads over several city matters for years.

Coy and Hawkins claimed those connections with Lee resulted in wages being withheld or slowly paid out. The suit also alleged Hutcheson wanted to fire Coy — a former police officer — because he is Hispanic.

In March, the City Council declined a settlement offer of $150,000 to be split equally between both defendants.

The five aldermen named in the suit voted against the offer. Joan White, an alderman for Ward 2, Position One, also voted against the settlement, but wasn’t named in the suit.

Tom Kieklak, an attorney representing Hutcheson, said Monday (April 23) it was unclear why Coy and Hawkins dropped their suit.

Attorneys for Coy and Hawkins didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lee said said in a statement he and city officials were “glad to have the case terminated and have no reason to anticipate that it will be refiled.”