Court Case Costs City of Rogers More Than $400K

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, May. 12, 2014 12:00 am  

Greg Hines

We’re sure you recall the case of Jerry Hudlow, the former treasurer and chief financial officer for the city of Rogers.

He successfully sued the city and its mayor after he said he was wrongly terminated in May 2012.

In November 2013, a U.S. District Court jury awarded Hudlow a total of $313,000 to cover the costs of lost wages and benefits, emotional distress and damage to his reputation.

U.S. District Court Judge Jimm Larry Hendren recently entered that amount in an official judgment, and tacked on another $8,000 to cover the increased taxes as a result of the jury’s award. Hendren also added $84,700 for Hudlow’s attorney’s fees and costs, which will go to attorney Stephen Lee Wood of Rogers. That brings the total judgment up to more than $400,000.

Wood couldn’t be reached for comment on Thursday.

John Everett of Fayetteville, an attorney who represented the city of Rogers and Rogers’ Mayor Greg Hines in his official capacity, thought a portion of his nearly $90,000 attorney bill should be paid by Hudlow because the jury found in favor of the city on Hudlow’s whistleblower claim.

But Judge Hendren didn’t think so and denied the request.

Hines, mayor of the city of about 60,000, told Whispers last week that the city isn’t paying Everett’s legal bills. That bill goes to the Arkansas Municipal League, which would have represented the city in the case had it not been for a conflict. So the Municipal League hired Everett.

Hines declined to comment on the judgment amount. He also said a decision hasn’t been made on whether to appeal the case to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“It’s certainly something to consider,” Hines said.



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