By Erica Kearns
Although Sheriff Miles Slack is facing federal wiretapping charges, his name was nowhere to be found on the agenda at the Clay County Commission meeting on Wednesday. The room was full of individuals looking for answers to the lingering questions – When is Slack leaving office? Who is going to replace him? How will you choose a replacement? Knowing the citizens of Clay deserved answers, the commissioners offered a brief update on the situation.
After a meeting with Sheriff Slack last week, President Pierson acknowledges that Slack has not resigned yet but he is expected to at the time of his court hearing, which has not been set. “We are personally not looking forward to this. We like Miles. He was very good to work with,” said Pierson. “Be that as it may, we can’t do anything about it.”
Once Slack resigns, state code requires the county commission to fill the vacancy within 30 days with a person of the same political party. The Clay County Democratic Executive Committee has nominated three people to fill the position; Peter Triplett, Fran King and Jim Paxton. Pierson said around thirteen quality candidates had shown interest in the position but the interviewing process cannot begin until Slack resigns.
The commission did announce that longtime Chief Tax Deputy Reva Schoonover will be named interim Sheriff for a period of thirty days following Slack’s resignation. Schoonover will be assigned the main duty of signing checks for the county until a permanent Sheriff can be named. Sheriff Slack’s replacement will serve until November 2014 when the position is up for re-election.
The regular commission meeting continued following this brief informational segment.