Rodney Arbuckle retiring as DeSoto Parish sheriff

DeSoto sheriff cites family matters as a factor in his retirement

DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Rodney Arbuckle, who has served as DeSoto Parish's sheriff for more than 17 years, is stepping down from office.

Arbuckle first told DPSO employees by email earlier today and confirmed his departure to KSLA News 12 Chief Investigative Reporter Stacey Cameron shortly thereafter.

The sheriff's resignation effective Friday leaves more than a year in his fifth term, which expires June 30, 2020.

So DeSoto police jurors will have to call a special election to decide who will fill the remainder of Arbuckle's term.

The Louisiana secretary of state's office says November is the soonest such an election could be held.

"I've been contemplating this for about a year," Arbuckle said of his retirement. "Now I have a new grandbaby who has been fighting health problems, seizures, even stopped breathing once. So I have become aware there is more to life and want to focus my attention on my family."

As reported in an exclusive KSLA News 12 investigation, Arbuckle's department has come under scrutiny in regard to a controversial overtime ticket-writing program in which several deputies possibly abused the detail and committed payroll fraud.

"I'm just tired of all the arguing and bickering and fighting," said Arbuckle. "I am not resigning over the legislative audit, that has nothing to do with it.

"But if you take a look at parish politics here in DeSoto, everyone is fighting everyone in government.  And so now, I am just tired of it and going to stay at home and help take care of my granddaughter as best I can."

Chief Deputy Jason Richardson will take over the reigns as DeSoto's sheriff until the special election can be held.

"I just want to thank the citizens of DeSoto Parish for the opportunity to serve as your Sheriff for the last 17 years. After much prayer and conversation with my family, I have decided to retire effective March 16, 2018. After 36 years of service in Law Enforcement, I feel it is time to explore other things in life. Recently, I became a grandpa to a grandchild that has experienced health issues. This has caused me to change my outlook as to what is important. During this time, my oldest son also started a law practice and will be handling criminal cases in DeSoto Parish Court system. I do not want the appearance of a conflict of interest.

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