Red flag hire

Seven-On-Your-Side questions are helping to tighten up an Arkansas sheriff's hiring practices.


An Arkansas sheriff is tightening up his hiring procedures in response to questions asked by Seven-On-Your-Side.

This after a questionable and short-lived hire where many red flags were missed on the applicant’s resume.

Van Buren county Sheriff Scott Bradley says that it is hard to keep his jail fully staffed.

Even recent hire left three women in disbelief.

One, an Independence county woman, filed a complaint with the Van Buren county sheriff's department against her ex-boyfriend in August.

"Because he had beaten me and raped me and was mean to my little girl," says the woman who wishes to remain anonymous.

Regarding the alleged rape she wrote "...I begged him to stop. I was crying and saying please stop but he didn't. He choked me and kept going."

Four months earlier another woman had filed a complaint against the same man...alleging that "...he has been harassing me and will not leave me alone. He was refusing to let me get my stuff from the house."

She said the man told her if she got the police involved she would regret it.

Both complaints were investigated but no charges were filed.

Both women say they kind of expected such an outcome.

Then in December something happened that they never expected.

The man they had accused was hired as a part-time jailer with the Van Buren county sheriff's department.

"How did that make you feel when you found out that he was working for the agency that you had trusted to investigate your claims?"

"Uncomfortable and disappointed," replied the Independence county woman.

"This guy has not been convicted of anything,” points out Van Buren county Sheriff Scott Bradley. “He has nothing on his record."

In fact, Sheriff Bradley says the man's application stood out because he had jail experience...a brief one- month stint six years ago at the White River Juvenile Detention Center.

It also shows the 29 year-old to be a volunteer with the Burnt Ridge fire department.

He is not.

That he was at one time a student at UCA.

He was not.

And that he has a degree from ASU-Beebe.

He does not.

"I don't know whether he had a degree or not,” says Sheriff Bradley. “The job that he actually applied for would definitely not require a degree. I mean did it make him look like a better candidate? Yes. I'm sure it did. But I'm telling you probably the main reason he got an opportunity was he worked at another facility for a short time."

Another reason he was hired as a part-time jailer?

The jail administrator checked for a criminal record but did not check Van Buren county's own records.

The two previous complaints were not considered.

"He worked five shifts,” recalls Sheriff Bradley. “That's it. And it all came...some of those things started coming to light."

Also coming to light...a new complaint.

"Trusted him,” says the father of another woman from Clinton. “Felt like if he was a Sheriff's officer and worked for Van Buren county that he was safe."

This father says his daughter was hospitalized after spending time with the man in question on Christmas day...when he was still a Van Buren county jailer.

"They kept her all week,” recalls the father. “She stayed in a psychosis the whole time she was there. They released her Friday and said there really wasn't anything physical. But according to them and their professional opinion...she was drugged."

"If it were my daughter I would feel the same way he does,” says Sheriff Bradley. “And I understand he is upset. And we're looking into it. And hopefully if there is any wrongdoing we'll get to the bottom of it. He's not working here any longer. We don't do as thorough of a background check, probably, on a part-time person...maybe as we should. Not checking our computers. And we'll start doing that I guess."

Sheriff Bradley says from now one the department's own records will be cross-checked before any hire is made.

We visited his last known addresses and I did eventually speak with him on the phone but he declined to be interviewed.

We're not naming him because he was never arrested or charged and he no longer works in a position of public trust.

Air date: February 27th, 2017

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