Benton County Attorney Outlines Interim Sheriff Selection Process

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BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) — The Benton County attorney outlined the process the Quorum Court will use to select an interim sheriff to replace current Sheriff Kelley Cradduck, who submitted his resignation letter April 11.

The next Quorum Court meeting will be held April 25.

According to county attorney George Spence, the process has been designed to allow the committee to hear from the interested candidates, the public and each other before making a decision.

Each candidate will have five minutes for a presentation and then 10 minutes for a question-and-answer session from Quorum Court members. The candidates will speak in alphabetical order by their last name and will be kept from the chambers when they are not before the Justices of the Peace.

Following a 10 minutes break, the candidates will be allowed back in the chambers for a 30-minute endorsement and public comment session where each person will be given two minutes to speak. At this time, the Justices of the Peace may endorse a candidate of their choosing by making an address at the podium.

Following another 10 minute break, there will be an additional period of up to 25 minutes for questions to individual candidates or groups of candidates. Every Justice of the Peace will have an opportunity to ask a question before allowing additional questions from any individual member. A one-time five-minute extension may be allowed upon majority approval.

The Justices of the Peace may then discuss and vote on each candidate in order of presentation. Each member will only be allowed to vote for one candidate. At the end of voting, members will be allowed to change their vote if desired.

Unless a single candidate wins at least eight votes, the top two candidates will be invited to the Quorum Court meeting. In case of ties, if the two top candidates are tied, they will both be invited to the Quorum Court meeting. If there are three or more-way ties for first or second, the Justice of the Peace will have the option to vote again for just those candidates or change their vote.

The chair will then entertain a motion to forward the top candidate or the top two candidates, if none get eight or more votes, to the following Quorum Court meeting.

Cradduck will resign as sheriff of Benton County as soon as an interim is appointed and takes the oath.

Nine candidates have submitted resumes for interim sheriff:

If any Justice of the Peace wants to propose a change to the process, they will have to do so before the process starts. After beginning the established process, any motion to vary from it will be considered a suspension of rules and will require 10 votes.

The interim sheriff will serve for the rest of 2016 and the elected sheriff, which will be either Republican Shawn Holloway or Independent Glenn Latham, will take over January 1, 2017.

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