Board to appoint interim sheriff, set special election for Nov. 3

Published 11:34 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NATCHEZ — Adams County leaders spent part of Wednesday reading state statutes they wish they didn’t need.

But the death of Sheriff Ronny Brown means the county is without its highest law enforcement official, until the board of supervisors acts.

According to state statute, the county has a 10-day window in which to notify the election commissioners of the need for a special election, Board of Supervisors President Henry Watts said.

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The election will be on Nov. 3. The winner will fill the remaining two years of Brown’s term.

Prior to the election, the board must appoint an interim sheriff who will fill the position until after the election.

Watts said the board plans to discuss an interim appointment at its Monday meeting.

And until that appointment is made, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office will operate on its own.

Chief Deputy Charlie Sims has assumed authority, but said that each deputy had his duties and the office would run like normal.

“It’s business as usual. We are just missing our leader,” he said. “It’s just like when he’s out-of-town. We are going to make sure everything is operating smoothly.”

Watts said he was confident the ACSO was running appropriately.

“The department heads know what to do,” he said. “I feel very good about the entire sheriff’s department. Charlie Sims knows exactly what to do.”

Circuit Court Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders — who works in several counties — said it was common to appoint the deceased official’s wife to the interim position.

“It’s a temporary appointment, and it gives everyone a chance to settle down,” she said. “I believe (Angie Brown) would do a good job. Everything is already in place.”

Watts said he had not spent any time thinking of possible appointments to the position, but was focused on the loss of Ronny Brown Wednesday.

“Ronny Brown is our friend and we want to respect his family and their privacy during this time,” Watts said.