Widow appointed to fill sheriff’s seat

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 17, 2009

NATCHEZ — As of 2 p.m. Monday, Angie Brown is sheriff of Adams County.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Monday morning to appoint the late sheriff Ronny Brown’s widow to fill his vacated office on an interim basis.

Supervisor Darryl Grennell made the motion to appoint Angie Brown, and the vote was unanimous.

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The board’s appointment was done with the backing of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office’s administration, who attended the supervisors’ meeting to give their support for Brown.

“There was some concern about how the command staff members of the sheriff’s office felt about it,” Chief Deputy Charlie Sims said. “I am behind her 100 percent if that is who you all appoint.”

ACSO Majs. Charles Harrigill and Cliff Cox also voiced their support.

Maj. Jody Waldrop was not present, but those who were said they had spoken with Waldrop and he also supported the appointment.

Angie Brown said she had been approached by the administration of the sheriff’s office about the appointment, and she had hoped the board would appoint her.

“I feel it is very important that we try to finish what Ronny had started, and together the sheriff’s office and myself will be able to go through the grieving and the healing process together,” she said.

Brown said she will work with the administration in place as a team.

“The administration that is in place is excellent and very well-trained,” she said. “They know their jobs — there will be no change.”

Brown is the chapter manager of the Natchez chapter of the American Red Cross.

Before taking the helm at the Red Cross she worked at the Natchez Police Department for 15 years, first as a records clerk, then as secretary of the criminal investigation patrol division.

In those positions she had both human resource and payroll responsibilities, Brown said.

Later, she was the director of the communication and records divisions at NPD, which included 911 communications, Brown said.

For the present, Brown said she will try to get the Red Cross to grant her a leave of absence.

“The local chapter doesn’t know how we should handle this and the regional chapter doesn’t either,” she said. “Our area hasn’t had to deal with this before, and not knowing what is going to happen in November, I would like to make sure I have a job in case I decide not to run.”

The new interim sheriff said she has not considered whether or not she will qualify for the Nov. 3 special election to officially fill the seat.

“It’s still too early for that,” she said.

The widows of deceased county officials have been appointed to fill their unexpired terms before.

For example, when Supervisors Walter Salmon and Maxie Wallace died, their wives were appointed to fill their seats, Grennell said.

“It doesn’t happen in every single case,” Grennell said. “It is based on qualifications, and if they meet the guidelines of the state statutes as relates to qualifications, a spouse — if they are wiling to serve — will often be appointed.”

It was, in part, the support of the sheriff’s department that helped Grennell make up his mind, he said.

“I feel comfortable that the staff there is going to serve as an excellent resource for Angie,” he said. “I think she is in good hands over there, and from what I hear she is going to be effective in that capacity.

“I have known her as long as I have known the sheriff, and I feel she is going to do a good job for Adams County.”

Sheriff Ronny Brown died late last Tuesday of a massive heart attack.

He had the office from 2004 until the time of his death.