Sheriff announces retirement; Republican committee seeks temporary replacement

LYNDON, Kan. – Osage County is in need a temporary sheriff to fill in until the newly elected sheriff takes office in January, after Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn announced Monday she would be retiring at the end of the month.

Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn

During the Sept. 14 regular meeting of the Osage County Commission, Dunn submitted a letter addressed to Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and county commissioners announcing her retirement:

“I, Laurie Dunn, duly elected Sheriff of Osage County hereby submit my notice of retirement, effective September 30, 2020. It’s been an honor to serve the citizens of Osage County for 39 years and 3 months. Sincerely submitted, Laurie Dunn, Sheriff”

Dunn recommended the commissioners appoint Osage County Undersheriff Jeff Johnson to serve in the sheriff’s position until the newly elected sheriff is sworn in on Jan. 11, 2021. Dunn lost the sheriff’s position to challenger Chris Wells in the Republican primary election Aug. 3, 2020, and the sheriff’s race will be finalized in the Nov. 3 general election.

As commissioners do not have the authority to fill vacant elected county offices, the Osage County Republican Central Committee was notified to call a convention meeting to fill the vacancy. The committee will select a nominee to be submitted to the governor for official appointment.

The committee has since set the convention meeting for 7 p.m. Thursday Sept. 24, at the Osage County Courthouse. The nominee will be determined by a precinct person election and will be presented Sept. 25 to the governor’s office for official appointment.

In response to the short timeline before Dunn’s retirement, the Osage County Republican Committee has sent out a notice to prospective interim sheriffs who would like to be considered as candidates for the temporary position. Here is the notice issued by the committee:

“Notice: Applicants for the office of Osage County Sheriff are currently being sought due to the retirement effective September 30, 2020 of Laurie Dunn as per letter delivered to the Osage County Commission on Monday, September 14, 2020. State statute tasks the Central Committee of the party of the elected official with filling the vacancy. Please direct correspondence to the Republican Central Committee of Osage County, Dana Webber, Chairman, 307 S. Boyle Street, Scranton, KS 66537 or email: [email protected] by Wednesday, September 23, 2020.”

For more information about the selection process, contact central committee chairman Dana Webber as per this notice.

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