Thursday, April 14, 2016

Benton County 'buys out' sheriff. Can they do that?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 6:50 AM

KELLEY CRADDUCK: Paid to go away.
  • KELLEY CRADDUCK: Paid to go away.
Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck resigned Tuesday after the county Quorum Court agreed to pay him almost $80,000 to "buy out" the remainder of this term, which runs through the end of 2016.

Cradduck faces a felony charge of tampering with public records. He was defeated in the Republican primary for re-election.

My only question: Is this legal? Is it not an illegal exaction of tax money to pay someone for services not performed? I know the law is fairly well-established that public agencies can buy out contracts of contractual employees — school superintendents come to mind. But an elected official? He has no contract. Justices of the peace weren't happy about it, I'll grant you. And nobody seems sorry to see Cradduck gone.

I can think of some state legislators I'd be willing to make such a deal with, however.

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