Road Worker Adds Three Washington County Officials To Lawsuit

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – A Washington County Road Department worker has filed an ammended civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court, adding three more current or former county officials to the list of defendants in his original suit filed last year.

The initial suit from George Braswell, filed in December, alleges road crews “dangerously” deviated from the engineer’s design plans in construction work on two bridges in the county. According to the suit, deviation from design plans left the Stonewall and Harvey Dowell bridges in the county “dangerously under supported.”

The defendants named in the December lawsuit, in addition to the county, are County Judge Marilyn Edwards and Road Department supervisors Donnie Coleman, William Reed and Jeff Crowder.

The amended suit, filed on Wednesday (June 24), adds three more defendants, Dan Short, who was the county judge’s chief of staff at the time, Shawn Shrum, the department’s assistant superintendent, and Hayden Wagnon, the former Bridge Crew Lead Man. They were added as defendants in the amended version after false accusations about Braswell and ongoing retaliation came to light, said Joshua Bailey of the Morton Law Group of Fayetteville.

In his lawsuit, Braswell, a heavy equipment operator, is seeking an end to the harassment under the Arkansas Whistle-Blower Act. He also is seeking lost wages, punitive damages of an unspecified amount and more.

Construction to repair the Stonewall bridge near Prairie Grove and the Harvey Dowell bridge between Fayetteville and Elkins recently resumed.