BENTONVILLE (KFSM) – Friday (Apr. 15) afternoon, after a brief special meeting, Sheriff Kelley Cradduck`s resignation was officially accepted by the Benton County Quorum Court.
“Now we have accepted it, and the healing process can start,” said Kevin Harrison, a Justice of the Peace. “I hope him and his family can move on from this. And, I am ready for the county to move to the next level.”
Harrison said the unanimous vote was never in question, as the Quorum Court had since Tuesday (Apr. 12) to consider the resignation.
“We would have accepted it the other night, except we couldn`t by law,” Harrison said.
Cradduck submitted his resignation letter, after agreeing to a deal which would pay him almost $80,000 to cover the remaining salary he had.
The payout also covers contributions to Cradduck’s insurance and retirement plans.
A dollar amount which the court believed was worthwhile.
“We either paid for the current sheriff to stay, or pay for the sheriff to go,” said Barry Moehring, a Justice of the Peace. “Either way, we were going to have to pay.”
Several on the Quorum Court said the money would bring a new sense of calm to the Sheriff’s Office, while also increasing productivity.
“It is an investment in the citizens of Benton County,” Harrison said.
Moehring applauded the county in coming to an unexpected, yet finite, ending to a long battle.
With Cradduck's resignation effective immediately, the county is now tasked with focusing on the future of the Sheriff's Office.
“The best thing we can do is have the current sheriff resign, and we can go forward and turn over a new leaf and start fresh,” Moehring said.
The Benton County Quorum Court will meet on April 25, to further discus who will replace Cradduck as Interim Sheriff.