Harvey Gjesdal will be leaving June 30

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal (Empire Press file photo/Karen Larsen)

Douglas County Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal announced on May 30 that he would retire from the sheriff’s office on June 30.

Gjesdal’s third term was to end Dec. 31 and he announced last November that he would not run for re-election. Gjesdal has served the county as sheriff since 2007.

Gjesdal has been in law enforcement for 33 years, with 22 of those years in the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Gjesdal, who was in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve for 26 years and served in several overseas deployments, said that he hopes to pursue a career in veterans affairs. He said that he decided to leave the sheriff’s office early so he could put his energy into pursuing his next career move.

Gjesdal said that he always felt that the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was fortunate to have an excellent crew of men and women.

“I’m proud to have served with the best crew on the best ship in the fleet,” Gjesdal said.

County Administrator James Barker said that on the first working day of July, the Douglas County commissioners will appoint an interim sheriff, which will likely be Undersheriff Kevin Morris. Morris will serve in the position until a lengthier process of choosing a sheriff to finish Gjesdal’s term can be completed.

This process involves the Republican Central Committee submitting to the commissioners a maximum of three names of people willing to serve in the position until the end of the year. The commissioners will then interview these candidates and make an appointment. Barker said it may take two or three weeks following the time Gjesdal officially leaves the position to select his replacement.

Morris and East Wenatchee police officer Leeon Leyde are running for the position in this year’s election. The winner will take over on Jan. 1.