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Jones appointed Monroe Co. Sheriff | News

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Jones appointed Monroe Co. Sheriff
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(WBIR- Monroe County) The Monroe County Commission unanimously appointed Tommy Jones II as the Monroe County Sheriff Tuesday night.

Jones will serve as sheriff until the August 2016 election.

"Certainly you can't please everybody all the time, but we felt that for the next 20 months that this was the right decision," Mitch Ingram, a county commissioner, said. "And then, August 2016 the voters can choose who they want to be sheriff if they were not happy with us tonight."

This appointment comes after months of legal battles over the eligibility of Randy White, who won the popular vote in the August 2014 election, to serve as Monroe County Sheriff.

White beat incumbent Bill Bivens by about 700 votes. Bivens then filed a lawsuit against White and the Monroe County Election Commission claiming White didn't qualify to hold office. Judge Don R. Ash agreed, voiding the election.


Ash based his decision off the Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission's investigation, which found White didn't have enough full-time law enforcement experience to meet state requirements to run for sheriff.



Jones served as chief deputy under White after the August election and took over as interim sheriff when the judge voided the election results.



"I was hoping that the county commission would make their decision based off of the service that we've provided the county for the past few months, and I believe that's what they've done," Jones said.



He said his first goal is to build relationships with the sheriff's office and other local law enforcement agencies and bring the community back together.



"All the litigation that has taken place during this sheriff's election has torn family and friends apart, and now it's time to move on," Jones said. "The past is the past, nothing we can do about it, but look forward to tomorrow."

He said he is also making criminal reform a top priority and developing programs for youth and seniors about drugs, gangs, and criminal activity.



The appointment made by the county commission can be contested within the next 10 days.



Jones said he is planning on running for sheriff again in 2016 if White does not win his appeal.



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