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McCracken Sheriff Hayden to Retire at End of June
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden has announced that he will retire at the end of June.

Hayden first announced that he would not seek re-election in September, and endorsed Capt. Matt Carter as a candidate to replace him. Carter is running unopposed in the November election for Hayden's position. In a statement released Monday, Hayden said Judge-Executive Bob Leeper will appoint Carter to serve out the remaining six-months of his term.

Hayden said he made the decision to retire a bit early in part to help save the county money during a state mandated audit required when a new sheriff takes office. Hayden said the audit will be easier and less expensive to conduct at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Hayden said he hopes to return to public service at some point in the future, but that he will be concentrating on spending more time with family in the near term.

Here is his full statement:

Last fall I announced that I would not be seeking a 4th term as McCracken County Sheriff. At that time Capt. Matt Carter announced that he would seek and run for the seat and received my full endorsement. No opposition to Capt. Carter ever surfaced. All pertinent deadlines have passed for anyone seeking this office and no one else can be on the official voting ballot in the November 2018 general election. Essentially, Capt. Matt Carter is unopposed and is slated to be sworn in January 2019 as the next McCracken County Sheriff.

A number of factors come into play when elected officials take office in January. Ironically, this is in the middle of the fiscal year which runs from July 01 through June 30 of the following year. Sheriff's Offices are a bit more challenging when this occurs due to the mandatory tax collections, and the elected sheriff being personally and professionally responsible for the collection and dispersment of McCracken County's 35 million dollar tax roll. Kentucky State audits are mandatory when sheriffs take and or vacate that office. These audits aren't free, as the cost is passed on to our local county government. I have spoken to representatives from the Kentucky State Auditor’s Office and understand that these transitions are much more easily audited when they occur at the start of a fiscal year, than when they occur 6 months into one. The cost associated should be of a lesser amount as well.

I struggled last fall with my decision to not seek a 4th term as I have struggled with the decision I have now. But I know that it is time to make it.

I have had conversations with Judge Executive Bob Leeper about this issue and his response was one of reassurance, that if I did resign and retire from this elected office, that he would in fact appoint Capt. Matt Carter to fill the final 6 months of this 4 year term. 

It is with the utmost sincerity and respect that I announce to all of the residents of McCracken County that I will retire at the end of June 2018.

I began my fulltime law enforcement career in 1990, and joined the McCracken County Sheriff's Department in 2003 and have been honored beyond measure to serve in so many different positions within the organization. Road deputy, Detective, Sergeant, Captain over the department’s drug enforcement unit for over a decade, and as your Sheriff for the past 12 years. It has always been important to me on a personal level and I have been fortunate to have had a career that I truly feel that I have done some good in our small part of the world we live in, and have made right some of the wrongs that have been committed against many innocent people. I have done my best to treat those that I have encountered with dignity and respect and have always tried to put myself in the shoes of those that we are sworn to protect and serve.

My goal at the very beginning was to leave our agency in a better place than when I was elected. If all of us in our everyday lives would strive to leave things better than we found it, our world would be a much better place. I am strong in my belief that we have a strong, educated, disciplined, and professional law enforcement agency for Matt Carter to take over and build on, and I know that he will.

I have watched and worked very closely with Matt Carter since he joined the agency many years ago, and I know him to be a hardworking and honest man. I have watched him many times in all sorts of situations and have always seen him do the right thing, when he thought no one was watching. And he knows that we expect when his tenure ends, that he leave our agency in a better place, and I know that he will.

I have absolute peace in knowing that my team and I have done the absolute best we could to serve and protect each of you and your families. I also have peace in knowing that this will continue under the leadership of Matt Carter.

I want to thank everyone that supported me and our department during my tenure. The community support that we receive is overwhelming and much appreciated not only by me, but each and every one of our deputies, detectives, and other employees and staff. You have no idea how much that means to all of us in these trying times.

To all other area law enforcement officers and officials, I would ask that each of you continue to work with one another, and want to sincerely thank each of you for your dedication and friendship over my career in law enforcement. When we all work together, that is a bad thing for those looking to victimize innocent people, and a good thing for those that support and appreciate us.

To the McCracken County Fiscal Court, past and present, thank you for supporting public safety in our community. Judge Executive Bob Leeper, Commissioner Jerry Beyer, Commissioner Bill Bartleman, and Commissioner Scott Wathen, thank you for your continued support for the safety of our men and women that are protecting our community. You have an extremely difficult job.

To other courthouse staff members, court officials, judges, prosecutors, and defense bar, thank each of you for the professionalism you have exhibited during my 25 years working in McCracken County's legal system.

And finally to my staff. Each and every one of you are and always will be family to me. We have all worked hard, side by side with one another. We have laughed aside one another, and many of us have cried with one another. We have shared experiences we will not ever forget, and some that we wish we could. To say that I am proud of the accomplishments and strides that we have made is an understatement.

I hope at some point in the future that I will be able to return to some sort of public service but it is time to catch my breath, and spend some much needed time with my family.

I wish each and everyone one of you the absolute best.


On the Net:

Hayden to Retire, Carter Announces Sheriff Run


Published 11:59 AM, Monday Jun. 11, 2018
Updated 10:57 AM, Tuesday Jun. 12, 2018

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