Benton County Sheriff Offers To Resign Pending Quorum Court Approval

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BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) — Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck submitted a letter of resignation to the Benton County Quorum Court Monday (April 11).

According to a letter from Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider & Pawlik, Cradduck’s resignation will be effective immediately on acceptance by the Quorum Court.

The letter states Cradduck will resign if the Quorum Court accepts several conditions that include continued pay until his successor is appointed by the Quorum Court and takes the oath and within ten days of that time the county will issue him a single lump sum check that includes the remainder of his pay through the end of 2016, the retirement contribution the county would have made on the remainder of his pay through the end of 2016 and the contribution amount the county would have made to his health insurance through the end of 2016.

According to the letter, if Cradduck’s resignation was accepted on April 11 and his successor was appointed immediately, the lump sum figure would be about $79,600. The lump some would drop by about $300 per day, the letter states.

As an additional condition, Cradduck would agree that between the time the Quorum Court accepts his resignation and the time that his successor is appointed, he will take no actions as sheriff and the chief deputy will manage the office and exercise all the authority of the sheriff.

To read the full letter, click here.

The resolution declaring a vacancy in the sheriff’s office will not appear on Tuesday’s (April 12) special Quorum Court agenda as it will have to be published prior to it being consider by the Quorum Court, which means the Justices of the Peace will not accept or reject Cradduck’s letter of resignation, but they will discuss it. The Quorum Court agenda also includes considering an ordinance to appropriate $80,000 in funds to hold the balance of the sheriff’s salary and benefits for the remainder of 2016. The appropriation ordinance will require 10 votes in order to pass on one reading.

According to the Benton County Clerk, if the Quorum Court accepts Cradduck’s resignation the search for his interim will begin immediately, but its not clear how long that process would take. The interim sheriff would serve until the end of 2016 and an elected sheriff would take over January 1, 2017.

4 comments

  • Anita Ferguson Shue

    I am stunned and I am livid. I am aghast at the temerity of this man. I truly am. But further, I am even more surprised that people view this somehow as good news — that somehow, the citizen of Benton County have won this battle by getting an offer from the Sheriff to resign. So let’s think about this for a minute,.

    Kelley Cradduck has done nothing but steal from the citizens of Benton County, and further, has abused his power personally, has abused his power professionally, and even now, continues to steal his salary by receiving it and failing to perform any of the duties as Sheriff, as he has failed to do since January 2014.

    Let’s call this what it really is: This is an attempt by Cradduck to thwart justice and to blackmail the taxpayers of Benton County into giving him money he has not earned, will not earn and does not deserve!

    First of all, the Sheriff is demanding that he be paid the entire amount of both his potential salary for the rest of the year AND his retirement, in one lump sum. He neglects to mention, however, that if he is convicted of a felony in September, he would automatically LOSE his retirement. So he is attempting to get it now, before he is convicted. Secondly, he has failed to perform the responsibilities as Sheriff since January 2014, and even now, since he was sued for constantly harassing and persecuting the employees that spoke out against his corruption, he comes in an hour or two a week.

    So, essentially, he is offering to vacate the office IF we pay him enough. How on earth is this not blackmail? How on earth does he deserve the salary he currently gets, not to mention his potential salary for the rest of the year? And he’s not done! He also wants insurance coverage and he wants the taxpayers of Benton County to foot the bill for it!

    I know there are those in the Quorum Court who feel he should go, and the easiest way to get him to go is to pay him to do it. What gutless wonders they are. Perhaps they feel like he is a “liability” to the County, and therefore, it might be cheaper to pay him to go rather than let him keep persecuting the employees under him. If this is true, then HOW on EARTH can they conscience NOT TRYING TO REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE? There is an Arkansas Consitutitional remedy for removing a sitting Sheriff from Office, if they simply had the guts to do it.

    This is appalling, and if the Quorum Court accepts the “conditions of his surrender”, then they, too, need to remember that they are elected officials. And people have long memories, so a poor decision here is likely to haunt them. So, not only will they pay the Sheriff an additional $90,000.00, IN ADDITION to a retirement that he is not entitled to unless he is not convicted of the criminal charges now pending. Further, he is demanding insurance for he and his family for the rest of the year. That’s a lot of money, folks.

    Something else to think about –, they will have to pay the same amount to whomever is appointed to serve as interim Sheriff until such times as the election is completed and a new Sheriff sworn in! That’s hundreds of thousands of dollars to a lazy, incompetent, corrupt Sheriff!

    This money could be used for a thousand other things the Sheriff’s Office needs, including possible raises for its long suffering employees. But now, again, the Sheriff is trying to screw over the citizens of Benton County, literally steal money that he has not and WILL NOT earn, by creating such an interminable situation in the Sheriff’s Office that the Quorum Court would PAY HIM to LEAVE!

    To all members of the Quorum Court: If you truly feel that this man is such a liability that he needs to go, then you are honor bound to try and have him removed – NOT TO PAY HIM THE RANSOM DEMAND TO TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT.

    The people that suffered under the hands of the Sheriff, they haven’t won anything. The citizens of Benton County, you are getting screwed by the very people that you entrusted to protect you. GET MAD! Demand that this man be removed, and do NOT allow his hijacking plan to work! Refuse to pay him another damn dollar and demand that the Quorum Court approach the Special Prosecutor and HAVE HIM REMOVED FROM OFFICE!!!! How dare they even consider paying this man money to leave! If they want him gone, DO IT THE RIGHT WAY.

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