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MARKED TREE, Ark. – It has been a tense week for the City of Marked Tree capped off by the Friday morning resignation of Marked Tree Police Chief Michael Matlock.
While working on a combine harvester around noon Friday, Marked Tree Mayor Steve Craig explained as much as he could about what happened to NEA Report. On Monday, Matlock was placed on administrative leave. For what, exactly, the press does not know.
A reliable source, on condition of anonymity, tells NEA Report Matlock was told to resign or face a vote from the city council which would lead to his public termination. With Matlock being placed on administrative leave, he seemed to have initially resisted the ultimatum.
The mayor confirmed Matlock’s employment status was expected to be discussed at next week’s city council meeting before he resigned earlier today.
“We thought he might be on the agenda,” Craig said. “Since he resigned, it’s over. We won’t be discussing him at the council meeting.”
I asked Mayor Craig if the resignation had anything to do with the alleged misconduct recently at Marked Tree High School.
“I can’t comment on that,” he said.
The mayor said he had two or three people in mind to replace Matlock as police chief. He said all the potential candidates are from outside of the department.
NEA Report contacted several area law enforcement sources and asked them to describe the developments as either positive or negative for the community. Our sources described it as a positive development.
“I believe things are going to be good,” Craig said. “I believe we will get back on our feet and get going and be positive again.”
Craig said there are normally six officers employed by the Marked Tree department. Currently, only three are employed, he said. He doesn’t anticipate any other personnel changes within the department.
“We will get back on our feet,” Craig said.