Mathes: Some operations ‘paused’

Published 10:04 am Thursday, August 14, 2014

As the Carter County Sheriff’s Department prepares for a new sheriff, some operations are continuing as normal, but others are on hold.
Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said some operations — such as the trusty work program that provides free labor to the county — are “paused” due to preparation for the transition between the elected officials.
On Sept. 1, Mathes will hand over the duties of sheriff to Dexter Lunceford, who was elected to replace the incumbent sheriff during the county’s general election earlier this month.
“Everything I was planning to do up until Sept. 1 I’m going to continue to do,” Mathes said. “I’m not planning anything past Sept. 1.”
He said programs he had implemented during his 8-year tenure as sheriff, as well as any plans he had formed but had not yet implemented, are on hold until Lunceford takes over. He said some of those plans included pay raises for some employees and reassignment of personnel to new positions.
Some hiring may still occur, Mathes said, adding that any individuals hired to fill vacant positions would be selected from a pool of prospective employees who have already gone through the application and background check process and were “in the hopper” to be hired.
In addition to a change in leadership, the department will also see a change in the office of Chief Deputy as James Parrish is returning to the department to replace current Chief Deputy Ron Street.
Mathes said Street had planned to retire this year anyway, regardless of the outcome of the election. “Chief Street was going to retire Sept. 1, no later than Jan. 1,” he added.
As for his own plans for the future, Mathes said he is contemplating several moves — including a possible return to federal service, remaining in law enforcement and the possibility of life in the private sector.
“I’m weighing my options,” Mathes said.

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