BENTONVILLE (AP) — A special judge will be appointed to preside over a criminal case involving the Benton County sheriff after six local circuit judges recused from hearing the matter.

Sheriff Kelley Cradduck is charged with felony tampering with a public record and misdemeanor tampering. Cradduck has pleaded not guilty.

The Arkansas Supreme Court will appoint a special judge.

Cradduck is accused of falsifying an employee payroll request form by back-dating it and instructing his assistant to lie to investigators and say the sheriff never asked her to back-date the document.

Cradduck ran for re-election, but was defeated in this month’s Republican primary.

He’s due back in court March 31.