Prairie County Undersheriff Greg Huber resigned his post, effective Friday, January 3, 2014.
Huber’s resignation came on the heels of a meeting with Sheriff Duncan Hedges Friday afternoon in which Huber was informed that he would be demoted to deputy sheriff.
“It was my intention to make Jason (Smith) undersheriff,” Hedges said of the information relayed at the meeting.
The demotion would have included no loss in wages or benefits. Duties, responsibilities and other aspects of the job would have stayed the same.
“I regret seeing him go,” Hedges said of Huber’s departure rom the agency. “This wasn’t my intention to have him go.”
Although not required to keep other county officials abreast of personnel changes within the sheriff’s office, Hedges said he had discussed his intentions weeks prior to the January 3 meeting, with the board of county commissioners and county attorney Garry Bunke. Hedges declined to give specific reasons for his decision behind the demotion of Huber and promotion of Smith.
“It would’ve been for the betterment of the agency, betterment of the community,” Hedges said.
He did dispute that the personnel change came as a result of a December 5 District Court trial in which Terry resident Bob van der Valk was found not guilty of disorderly conduct. The trial stemmed from an arrest Huber had conducted earlier in 2013. “It was already in the works,” Hedges said of his intentions to make the personnel changes.
Smith’s promotion to undersheriff was expected to take place Monday and the agency will continue to run with the two full time officers and reserve officers Lorin Larsen and Clint Grue until a deputy sheriff is hired.
Published January 8, 2014