The city of Fort Smith denies attempting to hack the computer of an attorney representing clients in an Arkansas Whistle Blower Act lawsuit against Police Chief Kevin Lindsey, among others.

The city of Fort Smith denies attempting to hack the computer of an attorney representing clients in an Arkansas Whistle Blower Act lawsuit against Police Chief Kevin Lindsey, among others.


Little Rock attorney Matthew Campbell filed the suit Jan. 13, 2014, in Sebastian County Circuit Court on behalf of former officer Don Paul Bales, Cpl. Wendall Sampson Jr. and Sgt. Rick Entmeier. The city of Fort Smith, city Human Resources Director Richard Jones, Lindsey, Maj. Chris Boyd Sr., Maj. Mark Hallum, Capt. Alan Haney, Capt. Jarrard Copeland, Sgt. Dewey Young and Cpl. Greg Smithson are the named defendants.


In an April 10 motion for sanctions, Campbell claims an external hard drive containing discovery material provided to him by the police department "contained malicious software designed to hack into Plaintiffs’ counsel’s computer, rendering the hard drive unsafe for Plaintiffs’ use."


Campbell also claims the city has deleted email accounts or provided improperly redacted emails, which should all be made available to his clients through discovery.


Fort Smith attorney Douglas Carson, representing the defendants, filed a response this week denying the allegations.


In his response, Carson said the hard drive was provided to Campbell June 9, and until Campbell filed his April 10 motion, Campbell never raised the issue of an allegedly infected hard drive.


In fact, Campbell refers to a document, saying "it was in the external hard drive that was sent," during an Aug. 28 meeting at the police department which was video-recorded, according to the response.


"A copy of the entire meeting — plus selected edits in which the Plaintiffs’ counsel refers to his ability to access the documents he currently claims he cannot access — is provided herewith as Exhibit ‘B’," according to Carson’s response.


Carson also denies the allegations that email accounts were deleted and says the only redactions were to preserve confidential information that can’t be disclosed to third parties under the law, something Campbell never complained about until the April 10 filing.


Campbell is seeking default judgment in favor of his clients based on the allegations in his April 10 motion.


The 42-page complaint claims Bales, Sampson and Entmeier were retaliated against with "a variety of baseless claims" for "communicating to the proper authority (e.g. Defendant Lindsey) suspected violations of policy and law-in Addisen Entmeier’s (Rick Entmeier’s son) termination." The complaint also alleges Sampson was additionally targeted for communicating suspected overtime irregularities in the dispatch center.