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Fol­lowing Carl Albright’s res­ig­nation, Scott Hod­shire will be sworn in on Sept. 21. Courtesy | Facebook

The Hillsdale County Statutory Com­mittee appointed Scott Hod­shire as interim sheriff on Monday, Sept. 14. Hod­shire, who won the Repub­lican Party’s nom­i­nation for Hillsdale County Sheriff in last month’s primary election, will be sworn in as interim sheriff on Sept. 21, fol­lowing the res­ig­nation of acting sheriff Carl Albright. Nathan Lam­bright will serve as Hodshire’s undersheriff. 

All three members of the Hillsdale County Statutory Com­mittee — Hillsdale County Probate Judge Michelle Bianchi, Hillsdale County Pros­e­cutor Neal Brady, and Hillsdale County Clerk Marney Kast — voted in favor of appointing Hod­shire based on the primary election results and current needs of the sheriff’s department. 

“He was the highest vote-getter for the county,” Bianchi said. “The county voters have already spoken.”

Hod­shire won the Repub­lican nom­i­nation for sheriff on Aug. 4, defeating Albright and perennial can­didate Jon Rutan. His appointment as interim sheriff follows the res­ig­na­tions of former sheriff Timothy Parker and Parker’s tem­porary suc­cessor Albright.

All three members of the statutory com­mittee agreed that Hodshire’s appointment as interim sheriff will give the department much-needed con­ti­nuity after the res­ig­na­tions of Parker and former under­sh­eriff Albright. 

“Con­ti­nuity is so important, and it is so important for them to have a leader at their helm right now,” Bianchi said. 

According to Kast, Hod­shire and former Sheriff’s Deputy and Hillsdale City Police Officer Randy Casler were the only two members from the com­munity who sub­mitted letters of intent and resumes to fill the position of interim sheriff. 

“I would suggest that Scott Hod­shire is the person who needs to be placed as interim sheriff, because he will be the next sheriff,” Brady said. “As Mr. Hod­shire said, we need some con­ti­nuity, and we need to get rolling on some hirings.” 

Brady added that as members of the command staff have left, the sheriff’s department has shuffled around per­sonnel. This means that some deputy spots are still vacant, and the interim sheriff will be respon­sible for hiring these new deputies. 

As long as Hod­shire wins in the general election, he will be sworn in to serve his official term sometime in December, and his official term will begin on Jan. 1, 2020, according to Kast. 

“The person who is going to hire them has to be this man, Scott Hod­shire, because if it’s not, these people who are hired we will not know if they have their jobs after Jan. 1,” Brady said. “It’s important that these posi­tions get filled, and they get filled by the person who will be the sheriff, so that we get the proper appli­cants, and proper people in the place.”

Demo­c­ratic Party nominee for Hillsdale County Sheriff and current Deputy Wes Ludeker said he will not be able to cam­paign for the general election because he is still recov­ering from a work-related injury that occurred in a severe traffic accident last year. 

“My doctors, ther­a­pists, and coun­selors have advised that it would not be in my best interest to actively cam­paign,” Ludeker said. “I feel that what’s best for the sher­iff’s office at this point is that Scott Hod­shire be placed as sheriff. The department needs to heal and needs to be rebuilt.” 

Ludeker added that he has no intention of leaving the sher­iff’s office and hopes to return to work in 2021. He also said that the Hillsdale County Demo­c­ratic Party under­stands his medical issues, and he will con­tinue to address the needs that have been expressed to him by the party.

Bianchi said that Ludeker’s name will still appear on the ballot in November, but Hod­shire is most likely to win the general election based on the primary results. 

Kast said that Hod­shire men­tioned several goals in his letter of intent that are aimed toward rebuilding the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department. While many of his goals focus on improving lead­ership within the department, Hod­shire also dis­cussed applying to receive grants for improving the facility and cre­ating department programs. 

Hod­shire said he’s already applied for and received a grant for a K‑9 officer and the training for the officer. He has also acquired a brand new jet ski for the marine patrol at no cost to the county. 

“It’s for the purpose of rebuilding what’s lost, and we’ve lost a lot of command staff as a department,” Hod­shire said. “And I think both Nate Lam­bright and I, with my man­agement expe­rience, can rebuild it the way it used to be. We can apply for the grants and get the grants at no cost to the tax­payers to start rebuilding.” 

Hillsdale County Sheriff Deputy John Leva said the deputies look forward to working with the new admin­is­tration and making this tran­sition to move the office forward. 

“We look forward to col­lec­tively embracing Mr. Hod­shire and Mr. Lam­bright and imple­menting whatever vision that they have for our office,” Leva said. “We will con­tinue to move forward so we can serve the cit­izens of our communities.”