Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington. (Photo: Max Seigle, THV 11)
BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) - THV11's Max Seigle talked with Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington Thursday afternoon, following a string of incidents that has put him in headlines recently.
Pennington announced his retirement last week following fallout from an arrest that happened in June, which resulted in him pleading guilty to charges against him. After announcing his retirement would be effective October 1, 2013, he then changed his retirement date to January 2015. Days later he said he will not be retiring in Oct. 2013 or in Jan. 2015, but will seek re-election in Nov. 2014.
Pennington said Thursday that he changed his retirement date because of 'overwhelming support from the community' for him to stay in office. He confirmed again that he plans to stay in office and run for re-election.
"I plan on staying in office and doing the job that I have done in the past," Sheriff Pennington confirmed. "My intentions are to seek re-election in 2014."
The sheriff acknowledged that there are people who want him out of office, but provided examples of people who have personally asked him to stay.
While he admitted to making mistakes, he said they will not happen again and that he deserves a second chance.
"Those without sin cast the first stone, we have all made mistakes," Pennington told Seigle. "I manned up to it, as you well know I held a news conference just right after the incident occurred, you know I did not have to do that, I've had a lot of people say 'I wouldn't have done that.'"
Pennington also discussed the night he was arrested at Denton's Trotline in Benton, where he was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. He said earlier this year he tore his Achilles tendon. On June 29, when the incident happened, he was working in the yard all day, hadn't eaten all day, overworked himself, and aggravated the injury. To help with injury, he took prescribed pain medication and later had two drinks at Denton's.
THV 11 asked him about his unsupervised probation for a year as part of his guilty plea, and he didn't seem too worried about it.
"Had it been supervised probation, I could see an issue. Unsupervised, I see no issue because I won't be in that position again," Sheriff Pennington said.
The Saline County Republican Committee has another resolution on the floor, asking the sheriff to resign.
There have been some mixed opinions on the ordeal, but ultimately the majority of the committee voted in favor of a resolution, expressing no-confidence in Sheriff Pennington and asking him to leave office immediately.
This vote is not binding, but it does join a similar move from the Saline County Quorum Court on Tuesday night.