(KATV) Benton - Social media is used to tell people about your day, for marketing and to push an agenda. In this case, asking a public official to step down. June 29th, Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington was cited for drinking in public and refusing arrest.
There is an online petition asking for the removal of Sheriff Pennington. Linda Ives has signed it and started a Facebook page, Fire Sheriff Bruce Pennington. "He absolutely should be held to a higher standard in my opinion and he has not done that."
Ives voted for Bruce Pennington to become Sheriff in 2008. "I thought maybe he could bring about the change that needed to be brought about in that county." But in 2010, she voted against him for personal reasons about a case and by her account, the amount of people with similar complaints. "Had everything to do with his actions."
June 29, witnesses say when Pennington was leaving Denton's Trotline; he became belligerent after police were called. Ives says, "They slapped him on the hand with the lowest charges possible."
Ives has since looked into his personnel file that Channel Seven has also obtained. During his time with the Arkansas State Police, he has been questioned for owing money to subordinates, improper conduct with his wife and accusations of insubordination. An investigation into alcohol issues resulted in no problems found. In 1997 it was recommended he be demoted, but he retired from the state police.
Ives says, "You know, we think it is only proper that he step down."
Felicia Epps is with the William Bowen School of Law. She says, "As with any criminal matter, someone is innocent until proven guilty."
Epps says people have just as much right to freedom of speech as the Sheriff has to continue to go to work. "We have a long way to go in this case and things could change at any point, we don't know."
Ives concludes, "I think it is sad I live in a County where people live in fear."
Sheriff Pennington will have supporters at his August 5th court date. He has said he has no intentions of stepping down.