EDMONTON — Lonnie Hodges took the oath of office Wednesday morning as Metcalfe County's new sheriff.
Hodges fills a vacancy left by the death of Metcalfe County Sheriff Ricky Brooks, who died Saturday from leukemia.
The oath of office was administered by Metcalfe County Judge-Executive Harold Stilts.
Prior to swearing Hodges in, Stilts said: “It was my understanding the request was that Lonnie carry on, be appointed. We wanted to carry out his requests. I know if Ricky could speak to us today he would say, 'My chapter has closed. You all need to pick up and carry on and serve the people of Metcalfe County and serve with pride,' so that's what we are looking forward to do.”
Hodges has served as acting sheriff for the past nine months in Brooks' absence.
After taking the oath of office Hodges thanked Stilts and everyone for their support.
“It's an honor. It's kind of bittersweet,” Hodges said, adding that he is still grieving the loss of Brooks.
Hodges will serve as sheriff until November. At that point, whoever wins the November general election will become sheriff.
Metcalfe County Clerk Carol England Chaney explained that chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties in the county have been notified and have picked up nomination papers for candidates for the sheriff's position.
“Only those names can appear on the ballot. Whoever they nominate will be who will take the ballot positions in November,” she said.
Also appearing on the ballot in November will be anyone seeking election to the sheriff's position as a write-in candidate and anyone who is a candidate for the Independent party, she said.
“The deadline for filing is Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 4 o'clock. At that time we will know who the parties have nominated to be their representatives,” Chaney said.
The staff of the sheriff's office also took the oath of office on Wednesday.
Metcalfe County Attorney Barry Gilley administered the oath of office to those who turned out for the swearing in ceremony at the Metcalfe County Government Center on Wednesday morning and then went to the Metcalfe County Justice Center to administer the oath of office to the court security officers, who are also employees of the sheriff's office.