Acting Sheriff Sworn in During Salary Dispute

SUNBURY – A new acting sheriff was sworn in Friday in Northumberland County.  He replaces the previous sheriff who resigned in the midst of a bitter salary dispute.

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Robert Wolfe is stepping up, taking over for Sheriff Chad Reiner who resigned.

“It’s a feeling that I’ve never felt before, I’m humbled, and I’m really looking forward to doing my job the best that I can,” said Northumberland County Acting Sheriff Robert Wolfe.

The change of command stirred up a lot of emotions, all fueled by a salary debate in the county.  Sheriff Reiner submitted his resignation after commissioners voted to slash salaries of some county officials to help balance the budget.  But a judge put the pay cuts on hold, at least for now.

The acting sheriff says he’s starting at a $53,000 dollar a year salary, but realizes that may not last.

“It is what it is. I personally don’t really have anything I can do about that.  But that’s their decision what ultimately happens is we’re probably going to have to live with that,” said Acting Sheriff Wolfe.

As Sheriff Reiner steps down from his position as Sheriff of Northumberland County, he says he’ll be starting a new job on Monday, and staying in law enforcement.

Deputies say they supported Reiner as he handed over his badge, doing what he says is right for his family.

“Everybody’s been very supportive of his decision. He’s been a good boss to me, a good sheriff to me,” said Sgt. Dwayne Pidcoe.

But Sunbury residents say it’s a shame budget cuts have come to this.

“There’s other ways to save money, too, in this town.  Cutting people’s salaries isn’t going to help,” said Jessica Urbabage of Sunbury.

“They have to be there all the time, so that’s definitely unfair,” said Stephanie Adams of Sunbury.

The acting sheriff is seeking appointment by the governor to take on the position full time.

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