Sources: Sheriff's Retirement Announcement Came as a 'Complete Shock'

By JORDAN VANDENBERGE | jvandenberge@tristatehomepage.com

Published 04/28 2014 06:09PM

Updated 04/28 2014 07:19PM

He's been the Sheriff of Vanderburgh County for the last seven years but in less than a month he'll give up that title. As Eyewitness News first reported, Sheriff Eric Williams announced on Monday that he will retire before his second term expires. The announcement came as a 'complete shock' to many law enforcement sources.

According to the email obtained by Eyewitness News, Sheriff Eric Williams is leaving his position on May 23rd. Sheriff Williams will retire with roughly seven months left in his term. Sheriff Williams sent the email to employees of the sheriff's office.

"Leaving the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office prior to the end of my second term, at the end of this year, is a decision I have not made in haste or without a considerable amount deliberation and consideration," Sheriff Williams said in the email obtained by Eyewitness News. "Knowing that, the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office will be in the hands of a capable team of professional public servants upon my leaving."

In the email, Sheriff Williams said he is in the process of informing Governor Mike Pence, which is required by state statute. The Vanderburgh County Democratic Party has been notified of Williams' departure, officials said.

Sheriff Williams cited a private sector opportunity as the reason why he's leaving his position.

"The opportunity awaiting me in the private sector is one that may never come again," Sheriff Williams said in the email obtained by Eyewitness News. "[It] has made this decision appropriate at this time."

In the email, Sheriff Williams did not elaborate on what or where that private sector job opportunity is. Williams has spent more than 20 years working for the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office. He has held every rank as well.

The Vanderburgh County Democratic Party will now have to hold a caucus to determine Williams' successor as sheriff.

Dave Wedding currently serves as Chief Deputy, the second in command. Wedding is running for sheriff in the upcoming November elections. He faces Lt. Kirk Byram, the Republican candidate.

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