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Clarification on sheriff’s succession process

An article in our 7.14.09 print edition contains incorrect information regarding the succession process for a sheriff deemed to be incapacitated. Obscure local legislation was written and approved by the state legislature in 1994 that supercedes state law specifically with regard to the the office of Lamar County sheriff. The local legislation mandates that the chief deputy would ‘assume the duties of the office of sheriff’. The chief deputy would serve until the elected sheriff is recovered enough to return to office or until a new sheriff is elected. Such election would be held in conjunction with the next general election as long as it is more than 60 days after the incapacity is affirmed by a panel consisting of two Georgia sheriffs and the state attorney general. The chief deputy would receive no additional compensation unless the elected sheriff died or resigned. Should that happen the chief deputy would earn the compensation the elected sheriff formerly earned. Additionally, our print story incorrectly identified Dan Fears as the chief judge of the Towaliga Circuit. The chief judge is Judge Tommy Wilson. Judge Fears’ first name is William (Bill). The Herald-Gazette apologizes for the error and any confusion it may have caused.

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