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Sheriff Pennington Says Retirement Best For Department

For the second time, Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington submits his retirement letter.
SALINE COUNTY, AR -- Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington is retiring for good.

Not even a day after telling FOX16 he's staying, Pennington turned in his retirement letter for the second time, effective Oct. 1 this year.

We called Pennington on Friday for comment. He wouldn't go on camera but told us on the phone his retirement has nothing to do with what we reported Thursday night, regarding his personal use of campaign funds and a Sheriff's Department credit card. Instead, he says the Sheriff's Office is being destroyed, and he's doing what's best for his employees.

"I hope it's over this time," said J R Walters, Quorum Court Member.

Walters was there when Pennington hand delivered his retirement letter to the Quorum Court on Friday morning.
 
"It's been drawn out for a long time and we can get back to what we're supposed to be doing and not having to do this kind of stuff," Walters said.

The Saline County Quorum Court is holding a meeting Saturday to accept Pennington's retirement and to declare vacancy.

On Friday, Pennington admits he wanted to stay, but says the Quorum Court was prying into his department. He says he loves his department too much and felt retirement was the best decision. Right now, the Quorum Court is prepared.

"We'll place a legal ad in the paper asking for resumes if anybody wants to fill in the rest of his term," Walters said.

The Quorum Court will be accepting resumes until Sept. 20, and hope to announce the county's next sheriff the following week.

"We want somebody, I guess you can say squeaky clean that the people have trust in," explained Walters.

Pennington says he's in the process of filing an application to start collecting retirement. While he is retiring, he says he's looking for employment and has several jobs in mind.

For a full timeline of events, beginning with his arrest on June 29, click here.

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