BY MELANIE BUCK –
Jack Peebles has been appointed as the interim Sheriff by the Polk County Quorum Court during their meeting Tuesday night [August 23]. His appointment follows the early resignation of Sheriff Mike Godfrey who was recently named as Deputy Director of the Arkansas Sheriff’s Association.
Peebles brings much experience with him and has a long history with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department serving as Chief Deputy before retiring. Peebles also served as interim Sheriff of Polk County for eight months after Sheriff Mike Oglesby was appointed as a U.S. Marshal and has come out of retirement several times acting as special investigator. Peebles will remain interim Sheriff until Sheriff-Elect Scott Sawyer takes office on January 1st, 2017.
Arkansas law prohibits Sheriff-Elect Scott Sawyer to step in to the office he was elected to until January 1, 2016. Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison explained that the law says that when a county elected official leaves a seat, the succeeding person that finishes the term cannot succeed their self in the next term. Therefore, the Quorum Court had to appoint a replacement to finish Godfrey’s term before Sawyer takes the seat in January.
The decision by Justices of the Peace was unanimous. Peebles said he looks forward to working with the Sheriff’s Department again and specifically Sawyer. “Mike Godfrey notified me that he was getting ready to move on and asked me if I would consider being the interim sheriff and finish his term. Scott [Sawyer] and I started around the same time in law enforcement and went to the academy together. When they came to me and asked if I would be the interim, I told them it would be my pleasure. With the vote of confidence that I got tonight from the Quorum Court, I know I have their backing and I know I have most of the county’s backing. I also hope to help Scott go through the transition period.”