3-member committee sets schedule for picking interim Genesee County sheriff

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) (11/8/2019) - A three-member committee of elected Genesee County officials has started the process of selecting a new sheriff to take office in January.

From left, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, Chief Probate Judge Jennie Barkey and Clerk John Gleason meet to plan how they will replace Sheriff Robert Pickell in January.

Current Sheriff Robert Pickell plans to retire on Jan. 5. Michigan laws task Prosecutor David Leyton, Clerk John Gleason and Chief Probate Judge Jennie Barkey with selecting his replacement.

They hope to appoint an interim sheriff ready to take office on Jan. 6 to serve the final year of Pickell's term. Whoever they pick would have to run for election on the November 2020 ballot to retain the position.

The interim sheriff position will be posted by next Tuesday and applications will be accepted through Dec. 2. After that, all applications will be posted online so the public has a chance to weigh in.

Then, a public interview of all candidates will be held on Dec. 23.

Barkey said people need to remember this is only a temporary position.

"People need to remember that the voters pick the sheriff. We are just picking the interim sheriff -- and being interim sheriff doesn't mean you're going to be sheriff forever or anything like that," she said.

Pickell said he's retiring after 21 years as sheriff so he can spend more time with his family.

Former Saginaw County Undersheriff and Michigan State Police Flint Post Commander Phil Hart and former Flint Police Chief Timothy Johnson are the only two declared candidates for the position.