Nicholas County Jailer Jeff Sidles was appointed sheriff Friday to succeed Leonard "Dick" Garrett, who took a plea agreement on felony charges and resigned earlier this week.
Sidles, 42, who lives outside Carlisle, was appointed by Nicholas County Judge-Executive Kenny Lyons. Sidles had served as jailer for almost nine years.
"He's proven himself as jailer," Lyons said. "He's a well-respected person here in the county and is well-thought of."
For his part, Sidles said, "It makes me feel good that somebody thinks enough of you to appoint you to a job."
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Sidles resigned as jailer upon his appointment as sheriff, but he will continue performing some jail functions until Lyons appoints a new jailer. Nicholas County does not have a jail; it transports its prisoners to the Bourbon County jail. Because the jailer is a constitutional officer, the position must be filled even in those counties that do not have jails.
Lyons did not know when he would fill the jailer's position.
If he wants to keep the job, Sidles must run for sheriff in the May primary, Lyons said. If he wins his party's nomination, Sidles would have to run in the November 2012 general election. Whoever wins the general election would fill the remaining two years of the sheriff's term, Lyons said.
Garrett, who had been sheriff since 2003, took a plea agreement and resigned as sheriff Tuesday. Under the agreement, he pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking over $300 and an amended charge of abuse of public trust under $10,000.
He had been accused of taking money from a drug asset forfeiture account and using it for his personal benefit. The money in that account was supposed to be used only for law enforcement equipment or training.
As part of the agreement Garrett will not run for public office again.
Garrett is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 3 in Nicholas Circuit Court.