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Published: Thursday, 9/29/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Ottawa County appoints new sheriff

BLADE STAFF
Ottawa County Sheriff's deputy Steve Levorchick speaks about his experiences during Hurricane Katrina. Levorchick has been named the new Ottawa County Sheriff. Ottawa County Sheriff's deputy Steve Levorchick speaks about his experiences during Hurricane Katrina. Levorchick has been named the new Ottawa County Sheriff.
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PORT CLINTON — The Ottawa County Democratic Party’s central committee Thursday named interim Sheriff Steve Levorchick to the post full time, replacing Bob Bratton, who retired earlier this month to be police chief of Genoa.

Mr. Levorchick, who had retired from the sheriff’s office last year after 23 years, was appointed interim sheriff last week.

The voice vote by committee members was unanimous, said Dan Laity, chairman of the Ottawa County Democratic Party.

Mr. Levorchick’s appointment runs through 2012.

Judge Kathleen L. Giesler, judge of Ottawa County Probate and Juvenile courts, will administer the oath of office at 1 p.m. Oct. 7.

Mr. Levorchick, 49, first joined the sheriff’s office’s road patrol in 1987 and later was promoted to supervisor/sergeant of shift, followed by a move to the criminal investigation/detective division. He was promoted to captain of operations in 2005 and he retired on Aug. 31, 2010.

After he retired, Mr. Levorchick joined FirstEnergy Corp. as a firearms instructor for guards at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station. He said he will resign that position after he returns from vacation on Oct. 10.

Mr. Levorchick was one of two people who submitted applications for the sheriff’s position.

Mr. Laity said Randy Riedmaier, who retired Sept. 22 as chief deputy, withdrew his application before the central committee’s meeting at the Riverview Healthcare Complex.

The sheriff’s position pays $59,537 annually to oversee a department of 63 deputies who serve 41,000 residents.

Mr. Levorchick said he plans to retain and expand on many of the initiatives that Sheriff Bratton had started, including a program to crack down on retail outlets that sell alcohol to underage customers.

One goal is to let his deputies and civilian employees know that their work is important and appreciated.

“I know that for some deputies, the job becomes old hat almost. I want to try to make it more enjoyable to come to work, because sometimes it’s a thankless job,” Mr. Levorchick said. “I want them to realize they are appreciated and [their work] doesn’t go unnoticed.

Another program he wants to expand is the presentations deputies make to schools.

The sheriff’s office’s “arrive alive” presentation reminds students of the hazards of driving while distracted, he said.

Mr. Bratton had been sheriff since 2004.

— Jim Sielicki



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