Another group took measures on Thursday evening to ask embattled Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington to resign.
If you have not kept up, Pennington pleaded guilty in August to resisting arrest and public intoxication. He at first announced he was retiring October 1, 2013; then changed this to January 1, 2015 when his term is up; then announced he would run for re-election.
On Tuesday, the Saline County Quorum Court voted unanimously for a resolution asking him to resign. In addition, Saline County Prosecutor Ken Casady asked that a special prosecutor (Letter on MySaline.com) be appointed to see if Pennington could be removed under Arkansas Constitution Section 7-27 “Removal of county and township officers” which states “The Circuit Court shall have jurisdiction upon information, presentment, or indictment, to remove any county or township officer from office for incompetency, corruption, gross immorality, criminal conduct, malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office.” This section applies only to county and township officers and is a different section than the often used “infamous crime” section.
Also on Thursday evening, the Saline County Republican Committee voted on a resolution that expressed no confidence in Pennington and asked him to resign. After a brief discussion, the motion to approve the resolution passed in a secret ballot vote. The totals were not announced, but there appeared to be overwhelming support for the resolution with only one person speaking against it.
“I move that in solidarity with our quorum court we adopt a resolution of no confidence in the sheriff as well as request his immediate resignation from the office of county sheriff,” said Saline County Republican member Nicholas Stehle.
After the meeting, Saline GOP Chairman Pat Rhodes said that the committee would likely not support the sheriff if he ran for re-election.
“I can tell you this without any hesitation based on the vote tonight if Sheriff Pennington files as a Republican for the next election, this committee will probably vote not to support him. The committee does not make the decision whether he can run as a Republican, but we can choose how we support a candidate,” said Rhodes.