Supervisor Cavanaugh settles 2nd Employee Lawsuit

VIA SBINSIDER| May 5th, 2023

Coming on the heels of the settlement of another lawsuit against Supervisor Kevin Cavanaugh, this past week Cavanaugh and the County announced the settlement agreement with another county employee. Two weeks ago, a settlement was reached between the Garland Shreeves and Amanda Stanford. Click here for the complete story.

Deborah Mellado alleged that Supervisor Kevin Cavanaugh, R-Coolidge, (District 1) made inappropriate comments about her sex and age. She said he commented in mid-January 2021, in front of another employee, that a man should be working at his Mammoth office, just as sports teams need new and “younger blood.”

The complaint says when Cavanaugh made such remarks, Mellado advised him they were inappropriate and unwelcome. Shortly after Mellado filed suit in late 2021, Cavanaugh responded that he never refers to an employee’s age or sex. In her claim, Mellado said she made an appointment with then-Pinal Human Resources Director Mary Ellen Sheppard on Feb. 2, 2021, to discuss Cavanaugh’s behavior. When she came to the meeting, Cavanaugh was also there and she was fired.

The written settlement agreement says Pinal County “expressly denies all allegations” but has agreed to a full settlement of claims. Each party will bear its own attorney fees.

Pinal Central news wrote an editorial at the same time as the 2nd settlement announcement,  commenting on Cavanagh’s behavior since being elected. One line from the editorial “The case sounds like a reflection of earlier incidents in which the county spent considerable time and expense investigating allegations against Cavanaugh’s fellow supervisors that turned out to be nothing.” 

When Cavanaugh took office, he told reportedly told other citizens that his mission was to expose the “corruption” in Pinal County government. At this point, most of  the problems have stemmed from his actions and words and nothing he has alleged against others had any semblance of truth.

Cavanaugh was originally elected with parts of SaddleBrooke Ranch and Oracle in his district. His new district begins at Coolidge and tracks north west towards the county border with Maricopa County.

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