There is no Sheriff in Marathon County. A seat that has been filled by the same man for more than 12 years. But since embattled former Sheriff Randy Hoenisch officially retired this past Saturday it's been empty.
The Chief Deputy is currently in charge, but can't fulfill all of the Sheriff's duties especially those delegated solely to the Sheriff in the State Constitution. The County ensures that they're still operating at full capacity, but there is a rush to fill those shoes.
Anyone is welcome to apply for Sheriff, but don't start counting on that $97,000 salary just yet. Although there may be no strict requirements or qualifications for applying, the average person's chances of getting the position are similar to winning the lottery.
County Administrator Brad Karger has worked with a number of Sheriffs during his 25 years with the county. This is the first time he's ever seen a Sheriff appointed instead of elected. A fact that makes him and other County officials just as unfamiliar with the process as everyone else.
The Governor will be accepting applications until April 13th, 2013. At that point he will put together a panel of locals to screen applications and meet with the finalists individually. Although the County has no say in who the Governor appoints, Karger is confident the Governor's experience at the county level makes him more than qualified to make the final decision.
"Scott Walker was a County Executive so he's going to know the importance of having somebody with at least some background in that and a lot of background in leadership and management," Karger told NewChannel 7.
During his visit to Wausau on Tuesday, the Governor said "I've worked with county officials here for years when I was a County Executive, great county leadership. I just understand a lot of frustration with the Sheriff's department now so the sooner we get a new Sheriff the better."
The Governor hopes to make a decision within the next month.
Karger says that he's had some Sheriff hopefuls come to him with questions about the application process. He tells NewsChannel 7 that they all have previous experience in law enforcement.
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