Any questions on whether Livingston County Sheriff Martin Meredith would run to retain his position were put to rest Thursday when he announced his resignation.
In a written statement, Meredith said that the resignation is effective Oct. 1. He said in his press release that he is currently pursuing other opportunities that would take him out of Illinois. He did not elaborate and calls to him Thursday afternoon were not returned.
“It has been my pleasure to serve the citizens of Livingston County and I am proud of all the work that has been accomplished by the men and women of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office,” Meredith said in his release. “They are truly remarkable public servants and serve this community with honor, pride and integrity.”
Meredith has been facing an investigation involving alleged misconduct. In May of 2012, it was reported that Meredith was allegedly using a G.P.S. system on his then-girlfriend’s car.
The system belonged to the Livingston County Proactive Unit and allegedly had not been signed out. Meredith has stated more than once during the investigation that he “welcomes the investigation as there has been no wrongdoing on my part.” He also previously stated that in the prior 15 months, he had not been contacted by the Appellate Prosecutors Office, which is overseeing the investigation.
Livingston County Clerk Kristy Masching said that a successor letter was filed by Meredith requesting that Livingston County Sheriff’s Police Sgt. Det. Earl Dutko be his successor in the event of a vacancy.
Livingston County State’s Attorney Seth Uphoff said the statute states that the vacancy shall be filled within 60 days from the beginning of the vacancy by the chairman of the county board with the advice and consent of the county board. He said that language typically means a simple majority vote from the board.
Who fills that vacancy for that 60-day period depends on whether the sheriff has named an official successor and if not, it defaults to the coroner. The interim sheriff will serve out Meredith’s term, which runs through November 2014.
There are currently four individuals who have announced their candidacy for sheriff, which includes Chief Deputy Tony Childress, former sheriff Marvin Rutledge, Jack Wiser of Fairbury, who is that city’s former police chief, and Mark Scott, a longtime Dwight Police officer.
In 2010, Meredith faced off against Childress, a write-in candidate, for the sheriff’s position.