Lucas County has a new sheriff - Democrat John Tharp, who took the oath of office today to replace retiring Sheriff James Telb.
Sheriff Tharp, 64, of Monclova Township, took office after 15 years of working in the sheriff's office, including serving as the major in charge of administration.
After being sworn in in the Lucas County Courthouse, Sheriff Tharp told an overflow crowd of well-wishers - many of them in sheriff's deputy uniforms - that he would never ask one of the deputies or corrections officers to do anything he had not done or would not do.
"I will be committed every day of the week to do the right thing for Lucas County," Mr. Tharp said. "Anything I can do for you or our office can do for you, we're going to be there for you."
In an interview afterward he said that running the sheriff's department on the budget the office receives will be his biggest challenge in taking over from Sheriff Telb.
Sheriff Telb, a Democrat, like Sheriff Tharp, held office continually since his first election in 1984. He did not seek re-election in 2012, and Sheriff Tharp had no opposition. The outgoing sheriff said he plans to spend time with his six grandchildren and said he may return to teaching at the college level part-time.
Mr. Tharp has been with the sheriff's department since 1997, after having retired from the Toledo Police Department, where he worked FOR 25 years. His assignments in the police department included the vice metro drug unit, the homicide squad, liaison with Toledo Public Schools, and the gang task force. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War in which he was a combat medic.
The new sheriff was sworn in by Common Pleas Judge Dean Mandros, who said, "I'm very pleased he's in this position and I'm sure he's going to serve the people of Lucas County very well." He called Sheriff Tharp "a man of great integrity, of great professionalism."