The sheriff of Northumberland County made an abrupt announcement Wednesday saying he is resigning his elected position before the end of the month.
Sheriff Chad Reiner said he is leaving the job because of a nearly 50% cut in his salary.
It was just last September that Northumberland County Sheriff Chad Reiner told Newswatch 16 he was considering not seeking re-election when his term ends in a couple of years due to a looming pay cut.
Now Sheriff Reiner said he will resign effective at noon on January 24.
In a statement, Sheriff Reiner said:
“It’s with great sadness that I tender my resignation as sheriff of Northumberland county, effective 12 noon January 24 2014. The decision to leave as your sheriff is one of both regret and necessity. Recent decisions made by certain county commissioners have forced me to reevaluate my career on a long term basis. I have an obligation to obtain a salary capable of sustaining my family. As much as I love being your sheriff, family will always come first. As your sheriff it has been thoroughly enjoyable serving you, and it has been humbling to have received the support you have given. I’d like to thank my family for their continued love and support throughout my three elections as sheriff. Most importantly I want to thank the sheriff’s deputies and administrative staff for their loyalty, dedication and hard work. Their individual and collective efforts have been and remain critical to the success of the sheriff’s office. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as you Northumberland County sheriff.”
Last year, two of the three county commissioners, Vinny Clausi and Stephen Bridy cut the salaries of eight row officers, including sheriff by nearly 50% as a cost saving effort.
In Sunbury, people said the sheriff has a right to seek a job that pays what his family needs.
“Absolutely I can totally understand that, with the high price of everything that`s going up, it’s not ever going down, you have to support your family, I totally understand,” said Michelle Hart.
The sheriff makes close to $54,000 but starting in 2016 that income will be slashed to $31,000.
“Can you blame him? He`s taking a cut in pay, I couldn`t do it,” said Karen Stahl.
Commissioners Clausi and Bridy said in a statement:
“Blaming the pay cut is disingenuous since the sheriff`s salary reduction won’t take effect until 2016. The sheriff could have continued working for the next two years with no drop in pay and then not seek re-election. However we wish him well in the future.”
“These are tough times for everybody, and I see the county commissioners’ position and I certainly understand the sheriff’s,” said Bob Cole, “but he has to look out for himself and his family and I understand that.”
Sheriff Reiner said his chief deputy will serve as acting sheriff.
Commissioner Bridy said a new sheriff will have to be appointed by the governor.