Former police chief blames politics for sudden resignation

Pocahontas police chief resigns

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Cecil Tackett, former Pocahontas police chief, says he was forced to retire early.

In a one-on-one interview Wednesday, just hours after Mayor Keith Sutton announced his resignation, Tackett told Region 8 News he had no plans of retiring this year.

But, upon hearing word that the newly installed mayor had plans to terminate his employment, Tackett said he took action.

“I had heard yesterday [Tuesday] that the mayor was going to terminate my employment, and I just decided I was going to turn my papers in today, my retirement papers, and not get fired,” Tackett said. “I was going to leave out with my honor.”

The former chief told Region 8 News he believed the mayor had “political reasons” for the sudden change.

“I had talked to him before the election and he assured me that he wasn’t going to make any harsh changes like that, and I was safe in my job,” Tackett said.

Sutton confirmed that Tackett had submitted his letter of resignation on Wednesday, adding that Tackett had “retired.”

On Thursday morning the mayor faxed the following statement to Region 8 News:

Cecil Tackett came into my office first thing Wednesday, Jan. 9, and tendered his resignation as chief of police and retired from the police department. I accepted his resignation. In the next few days I will make an announcement with respect to a new chief of police
Mayor Keith Sutton

Sutton also included Tackett’s letter of resignation. In it, the former chief said that he had served the city with “pride and honor,” and said he had “never been dishonest, neglected my duties or dishonored my badge.”

Tackett went on to say that he knows “there is an agenda since the mayor’s election, even though I was told I would not be replaced.”

He denied accusations that he had “made comments about Mayor Sutton,” saying they were not true.

“I feel a man’s word is only as good as his soul,” Tackett stated.

To read Tackett’s full letter of resignation, as well as Sutton’s statement, click the following link:

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