The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Iron County undersheriff position eliminated, Geach named chief deputy


January 30, 2019


Hurley — Iron County’s sheriff department no longer has an undersheriff.

Instead, a chief deputy will be the department’s second highest-ranking employee after the Iron County Board of Supervisors approved the creation of the post Tuesday.

The board also appointed Jason Geach, who has been with the department for 14 years, to fill the position.

The move is designed to increase efficiency and ensures there’s stability and continuity when a new sheriff takes over.

“This employee will stay with the county, regardless of whether there is a turnover in sheriff for any reason,” Sheriff Paul Samardich said during a law enforcement committee meeting prior to the county board meeting. “That’s to ensure the smooth operation of the sheriff’s office (during) the transition itself.” Previously each Sheriff chose their own undersheriff.

Iron County was one of the few counties that still used an undersheriff, Samardich said.

“I can safely say there are five or less in the state of Wisconsin,” he said.

“I think it’s a win for the county. We’ll never be left holding the bag, there will always be somebody who knows what’s going on,” Supervisor Larry Youngs said at the committee meeting.

The position would be a salaried county employee, according to information presented at the meeting, that also answered to the county board rather than only the sheriff.

As a non-union position, the chief deputy wouldn’t eligible for overtime pay other than during declared emergencies — in keeping with county policy.

The board approved a salary of $65,000 per year.

The new position will also be responsible for various administrative functions in the department, according to the ordinance establishing the position.

This is to help ensure, “A continuity in law enforcement as it relates to the sheriff’s department and to provide any incoming sheriff a working organization to relieve the sheriff of many details in connection with the responsibilities of that office,” the ordinance reads.

In other action, the board :

—Signed off on a modified design for the campground at Saxon Harbor.

—Authorized a bid from Nasi Construction for the construction of a water building at the harbor.

—Approved a change to a zoning ordinance designed to close a possible loophole regarding shoreline buildings and created an ordinance establishing a one-year moratorium on deer farms in the county in an effort to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease into Iron County.

—Passed a resolution allowing Iron County Forester Eric Peterson to administer grants for the Iron County forest.

—Approved the 2019 Iron County Forestry work plan.

—Passed a resolution canceling all outstanding 2017 checks.

—Sold a lot on Island Lake the county was gifted for $8,000.


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