The Elk County Salary Board shot down two motions Tuesday afternoon concerning requests from the county's sheriff's department.
Theresa Merritt, chief deputy of the sheriff department, requested the creation of a third full-time deputy position and a name-change for the "first deputy" position to "lieutenant," but both motions died for lack of a second and were denied.
Jeff Krieg, the two-term Elk County sheriff, was absent from the meeting. Following both denials, Merritt reportedly handed paperwork to salary board members indicating Krieg will be absent from the office for an "indefinite period of time" and that Merritt will be assuming the sheriff's duties.
The sheriff's department, which is reportedly over their budget for the year, has a sheriff, chief deputy, first deputy, two full-time deputies in addition to the first deputy full-time position, and 11 part-time positions. Of the 11 part-time positions, three are open, although four out of those eight that are supposedly filled "do not come to work and we're told they 'have other commitments,'" according to Merritt.
June Sorg, an Elk County commissioner and member of the salary board, questioned the matter of whether or not the sheriff's department properly advertises that part-time positions are available. It was not immediately known whether or not the sheriff's department could afford such advertising since they are reportedly in the red for the year.
"We accept applications throughout the year and the applicants that we've had are not qualified and they're not someone who I would bring in," Merritt said.