- Associated Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017

NOWATA, Okla. (AP) - Nowata County commissioners have selected a new interim sheriff after a judge denied the previous appointee for not living in the northeast Oklahoma county.

Commissioners appointed Sandy Hadley in a split vote on Wednesday after unanimously rescinding the appointment of Erick Richter, who a judge refused to swear in on Monday because Richter didn’t live in the county, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/2o1m9Qa ) reported. The local district attorney supported the judge’s decision.

Hadley was on the finalist list for interim sheriff, and it was difficult to choose between her and Richter, Board of Commissioners Chairman Bud Frost said.

Commissioner Doug Sonenberg noted that Hadley understood the criminal justice and juvenile systems. He noted she is certified by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, and is a former reserve deputy with Nowata County.

“She’s got a full range of what it takes to be sheriff or an administrator, she knows all the different aspects of the job,” Sonenberg said.

Hadley, a resident of Nowata, has been a supervisor for three years with the state Department of Corrections in Claremore. The 52-year-old was also an assistant district supervisor with the Office of Juvenile Affairs for 13 years.

“There’s good people here, we’ll work together and make this a very good, competent office that people can rely on,” Hadley said.

Commissioners accepted Sheriff Rick Miller’s resignation early March after County Clerk Chris Freeman couldn’t “coherently” determine the amount of debt the sheriff’s office was in. He said the office didn’t follow proper accounting procedures and spent money without first creating purchasing orders.

Hadley said she’s taking a pay cut to lead and rebuild the agency.

“I like a challenge,” she said. “This is going to be the biggest challenge of my life.”

Hadley will serve until voters can elect a sheriff in November 2018 to fill the second half of the former sheriff’s four-year term.

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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