Sheriff hopefuls discuss undersheriff
The May 16 candidates debate will appear on Douglas County Community Access Television Channel 193 in Carson Valley and Channel 192 at Lake Tahoe.
■ 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday
■ 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday
■ 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday Saturday and Sunday and Monday
■ 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday
When Sheriff Ron Pierini leaves office at the end of this year, Undersheriff Paul Howell will be retiring after a dozen years in the position.
At last week’s candidates town hall, Capt. Joe Duffy introduced Capt. Jim Halsey as his undersheriff.
“I would argue the position of undersheriff is as important as the office of sheriff,” Duffy said.
Halsey is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, and a 30-year Navy Seabee.
“He did two tours in Iraq, so he knows a little something about leadership.”
Capt. Dan Coverley has chosen Sgt. Ron Elges as his running mate.
Elges started with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in 1993 as a reserve deputy and became a full time deputy in 1994. He was promoted to investigator in 2005, and then to sergeant in 2009. He has also been the SWAT team leader for 15 years.
“Ron connects with this community on so many levels and gives it his time and talents, and teaches others on a daily basis,” said a Coverley in a campaign post on social media.
Elges is the brother of the deputy involved in the 2001 incident which led to a 2002 lawsuit naming Coverley and the sheriff’s office.
Dean Paris is choosing to not appoint an undersheriff at this time.
“The undersheriff will be selected from within the office,” said Paris. “I will send an open invitation to the deputies who are interested to submit a resume, and a panel of peers will select the best qualified,” Paris said.
Dave Brady said he is weighing his options but has not made a final decision yet.
When Brady ran in 2014, former Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Orr joined the campaign.
According to the county human resources department, candidates for undersheriff must have been a captain for two years before taking the position, or in a equivalent position, such as a colonel in the military.
However, the sheriff is a constitutional officer and can either pick whomever he wants to be undersheriff, or even go without.
Not all sheriff’s have had an undersheriff, choosing a different structure for the office.
Pierini was Sheriff Jerry Maple’s undersheriff for three years before he was appointed sheriff in 1997 when Maple left.
Pierini went without an undersheriff for seven years, instead relying on two chief deputies.
Bob Rudnick was promoted to undersheriff from chief deputy in 2004.
Howell was promoted from lieutenant to undersheriff in 2006 after Rudnick retired from the position.