BENTON, AR--Saline county quorum court members announced the names of four people in the running to be the next sheriff Monday evening.
The outgoing Sheriff is set to retire October first following his controversial arrest in June.
At Monday’s special meeting community members insisted the candidate search is about more than filling a vacant seat, many see naming an interim sheriff as a crucial first step to restoring the department’s integrity and image.
The quorum court reviewed a stack of 18 applications and trimmed it down to four.
Some of the applications referenced restoring the department’s image, a major source of tension since current and outgoing Sheriff Bruce Pennington was arrested and later pleaded guilty to public intoxication and resisting arrest.
The cutoff for applications was Friday and county leaders reviewed the applications all weekend before going into executive session Monday. After roughly an hour and a half, they announced that four candidates would move on to the interview phase. Phillip Newcomb, Dale Donham, Cleve Barfield and Terrell Burkes were all named selected to return for a 25 minute interview Thursday.
None of the chosen applicants currently work for Saline County, a purposeful move by county leaders in an attempt to avoid the appearance of any improprieties.