Second Grievance Filed Against Benton County Sheriff

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BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- A second grievance was filed against the Benton County sheriff Friday (Oct. 30).

The grievance was filed by Benton County Sheriff's Office employee Jeremy Guyll against Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck. It claims Guyll was demoted from his position as jail captain in retaliation for reporting "illegal and unethical conduct" by the sheriff, the grievance states.

Deputy Robin Holt also filed a similar grievance against Cradduck Thursday.

The same day Guyll requested a grievance hearing before the Benton County Grievance Council, Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith announced he is requesting a special prosecutor in the investigation involving Cradduck.

According to the grievance, Guyll is on a medical leave of absence. On Oct. 27, the sheriff sent an email to employees of the sheriff's office announcing Jeff Robbins was being promoted to Guyll's position, the grievance states. Cradduck has not notified Guyll that he is being transferred, demoted or terminated, according to the documents. Guyll has been informed by way of rumor that he will be demoted by the sheriff and based on the email it is clear Guyll will not resume his duties as captain of the jail when he returns from medical leave, the grievance states.

The documents state Guyll was employed with the Benton County Sheriff's Office from 1998 to 2003 and returned in 2010 as a jail deputy. Four months later, he was promoted to shift sergeant and then to staff sergeant, according to the grievance. In 2011 Guyll was promoted to lieutenant and in 2012 to captain until Cradduck's email on Oct. 27, 2015, the grievance states.

Guyll is Holt's immediate supervisor, according to the grievance. Holt came to Guyll on Oct. 5 after Cradduck ordered that she falsify time and pay records for Gabriel Cox, who was newly hired at the jail, the grievance states. Holt claims Cradduck ordered her to backdate Cox's start date and time and pay records to the week prior thereby paying Cox for time he wasn't employed, according to the grievance. Holt came to Guyll to tell him that she would not obey the sheriff's orders and Guyll reported the situation, opening an Arkansas State Police investigation into the matter, the grievance states.

On Oct. 6, Guyll was notified that ASP and Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith interviewed Holt and on Oct. 13 Cradduck was interviewed by ASP at his home, according to the grievance. The same day Cradduck was interviewed he called Guyll "extremely mad" and asked Guyll what he knew about the investigation, the grievance states. Cradduck then sent Guyll and other employees a text stating he was going to put the employees through a lie-detector test to figure out who had reported him to ASP, according to the grievance. Cradduck later sent another text message stating he had been joking, the grievance states.

On Oct. 14, Cradduck called Guyll into his office and order Guyll to tell him everything about the investigation, according to the grievance. On Oct. 19, Guyll was told that Cradduck had ordered an internal affairs investigation into a 10 second video recorded by Guyll, in which Holt sang a song that referenced Benton County, the grievance states. The video was recorded in September and sent to two employees of the sheriff's office as well as the sheriff via his wife's cell phone, according to the grievance. The text messages from Cradduck's wife's cell phone indicate she found the video to be funny, the grievance states.

To read the text message conversation, as well as Guyll's grievance, click here.

To read Holt's grievance, click here.

After a grievance hearing is requested, it must be scheduled within 14 days of the filing date, however Guyll requested his hearing be set for a date after which Guyll has been released by his doctor to return to work.

Cradduck's campaign for re-election told 5NEWS the allegations against the sheriff involve personnel matters and the sheriff wants to ensure that he is protecting the rights and privacy of his employees. The campaign told us Cradduck will let the facts speak for themselves when the investigation is over. According to the campaign, the sheriff believes the video mentioned in the grievances didn't show the professionalism he expects from his leadership and staff and made fun of rape, which is not a joking manner.


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