Fired jail lieutenant had history of harassment, per Internal Affairs investigation

FOX24

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) — A 14-page, name redacted, Internal Affairs (IA) report shows Benton County Jail Lieutenant Randall McElroy had a history of harassing female employees, inappropriate behavior, crude text messages and electronically obtained nude photos of another deputy’s wife.

In addition, McElroy was found to have falsified his timesheet on July 4, 2019, by stating he worked nine hours when he did not. “It was a mistake, I’ll pay it back,” McElroy states according to the IA report.

The IA interview took place on Monday, July 15, 2019. Chief Deputy Meyer Gilbert (who gave the final approval for the IA investigation to be done), Major Kenneth Paul and Professional Standards Lieutenant Joe Adams reviewed accusations of unethical behavior by McElroy between the years of 2016 to 2019.

The following are excerpts from the IA interviews and all who participated were read a Garrity notice:

February 2017 regarding an offsite meeting, involved McElroy and inappropriate behavior and “other issues pertaining to employees assigned to the detention division.” One person said, “several employees, including Lt. McElroy, went to training in Virginia in 2016, and while there, Lt. McElroy had messaged and obtained several nude images of another deputy’s wife.” That person said the images were shown between employees on the trip … referred to the group as the ‘Wolf Pack,’ which the person said, “was what they referred to themselves as.”

The same person said, “Lt. McElroy had messaged several female employees within the detention facility and carried on inappropriate conversations … spanned over several years … as recent as 2019.” The conversations also took place when McElroy was a shift sergeant. McElroy was also accused of showing co-workers pornography, “while on duty,” using his county-issued phone. One video was described as a “nude female in a bathtub masturbating,” according to the source.

Another person who said they were messaged by McElroy wanted action taken and approached someone [person’s name/title is redacted] about the lieutenant’s “inappropriate” behavior and to have the issue “handled.” Instead, “Lt. McElroy did not receive any disciplinary action,” and employees knew, “Lt. McElroy was untouchable, and nothing could be done.” This person gave a text screenshot to the investigators from February 25, 2017, where dialogue was exchanged that the person was informed by Lt. McElroy about the alleged confidential conversation. That person began to look for a different job within the Sheriff’s Office, “to get away from him.”

“[Name redacted] worked with Lt. McElroy for 5 or 6 years, and he would text, ‘what a nice couple they would make,’ and that he ‘struggles with his wife.'” The most recent text was from May 2019, according to the report. However the source said, the following day Lt. McElroy would say, “he was sorry … he was very drunk … didn’t remember sending the messages.” The source said it was a common theme.

The report states that at a 2018 Christmas party, Lt. McElroy was drunk and grabbed a person’s “butt.” That person described the lieutenant as “rogue” and does whatever he wants and that it had been going on since at least 2012. The person finished the interview by saying Lt. McElroy’s behavior was disgusting and that “everyone [the females] accepted it” since they knew nothing was going to happen to him.

Another person who was interviewed said they never directly heard Lt. McElroy talk inappropriately to females, but was aware comments made by him. This person also said others behave similarly to Lt. McElroy and, “found it odd … [name redacted] was making such a big deal about [name redacted] … having done the same thing.”

“There was a lot of communication from McElroy … went years back,” this person also said “…knew McElroy was talking to a detention facility employee’s wife,” and that several people knew.

In either 2013 or 2014, Lt. McElroy was on a trip with jail staff and while drunk he grabbed [name redacted] breasts, the report stated.

The lieutenant was also called out on his work ethics. “[McElroy] works whenever he wants to.” Citing that he gets in at 10 a.m. in gym clothes … gets ready for a 4:30 p.m. briefing and leaves around 6 p.m., according to the report.

By the final interview, that person referred to Lt. McElroy as a “predator” and that most people would be afraid to talk to higher-ups about his behavior. At the conclusion of another interview “Wolf Pack” was mentioned and the person said, “it got to the point to where bets were placed on when McElroy would text the newly hired females.”

On July 16, Lt. McElroy was interviewed about the internal investigation involving allegations of inappropriate behavior. Lt. McElroy acknowledged having inappropriate conversations with [name redacted] in the past and that it caused him to be demoted, but several times he stated, “did not remember that,” or “did not remember talking to….”

As for his behavior at the 2018 Sheriff’s office Christmas party, where he was accused of grabbing a person’s private area, he said he did remember that, and that he “was intoxicated.”

At the end of the interview with Lt. McElroy, Chief Deputy Gilbert spoke with Sheriff Holloway, and the termination letter was signed by the Sheriff and given to Lt. McElroy. The end of the report reads, “McElroy’s actions of assaulting two female co-workers/employees will not be tolerated within this organization.”

Lt. McElroy was escorted off the property by Lt. Adams.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

FOX24 Video

TOP STORIES

More News

DON'T MISS

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Follow KNWA & FOX24 on Facebook

get the app

News App

Weather App

Follow @KNWAFOX24 on Twitter