County Decides To Take Applications For Sheriff, Not To Appoint Chief Deputy

County Decides To Take Applications For Sheriff, Not To Appoint Chief Deputy Click to Enlarge Photo: Steven Coursolle (KNSI)

Apr 18, 2017 at 10:49 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - The Stearns County Board of Commissioners is taking applications for sheriff to fill the position of retired Sheriff John Sanner, instead of promoting Chief Deputy Bruce Bechtold.

The Stearns County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 at their Tuesday morning meeting to take applications through April 28.

The board had a couple other options to fill the vacant position.

They could have promoted Chief Deputy Bechtold to sheriff, as Sanner recommended, but none of the five commissioners put that option up for a vote.

If the board decided to take no action, then Bechtold would have automatically been selected to head up the sheriff's office.

Commissioner Jeff Mergen suggested selecting the candidate who finished second to Sanner in the 2014 election, which is former Sartell police sergeant and former county commissioner Mark Bromenschenkel.

Mergen's motion failed to get any support by the other board members.

Once the applications are in the board will conduct candidate interviews in May, then vote on which applicant will become sheriff.

"We will screen those applications, there's a committee that I have proposed and the board adopted, it will be two county commissioners, the human resource director, county administrator and a neutral person," Chair DeWayne Mareck said.

Whoever is named sheriff will start on May 23 and serve the remainder of Sanner's term through 2018.

"We will know by April 28th who those individuals are, I don't know if I'll have one, if I'll have two, if I'll have 10, I have no idea," Mareck said.

Qualified applicants should apply through the county's human resources department.


stearns county board dewayne mareck.jpg

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