A check of county records shows Sheriff Randy Hoenisch has logged less than two hours at the office since the beginning of the year, and just 82 days all of last year.
Hoenisch's salary in 2011 and 2012 was $97,843, plus he received $51,020 in benefits in 2011. Yet numbers of when he clocked in and out of the Sheriff's Dept. building using an electronic key card indicate he worked far fewer than 40 hours/week. According to the records, he usually came into work just a couple times a month, and in August, he didn't log a single minute.
"I've heard talk from the general public and then from different law enforcement about the sheriff not being available or the sheriff not being at the Sheriff's Dept. probably starting last summer," said county board member Craig McEwen.
This past summer was also the same time when Hoenisch's wife, Kim Hoenisch, was being investigated for stealing prescription medication from probationers while working as a parole officer.
In a phone conversation with the sheriff Wednesday, he admitted to NewsChannel 7 that he has had to take some time off this past year to help Kim deal with her addiction. However, he says the records of the numbers logged at the office do not represent his time on the job. The sheriff says his work often involves taking calls from home, responding to people out in the community, or attending law enforcement trainings. He also says he usually enters the building with a regular key, not an electric one--regular keys don't register what time he comes in or goes out of the building.
The records show that Hoenisch went to work 11 times within the last 6.5 months, sometimes swiping in for just minutes at a time.
Under state statute, the sheriff is not required to keep specific hours, and since he is an elected official, he only answers to the public. Hoenisch was elected in 2001 and is up for re-election in 2014. The only way to replace him before then is with a recall election. When asked if he might resign, Hoenisch told NewsChannel 7 that he may consider retiring before his term is up, depending on his wife's sentence.