SOUTH PARIS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - While second in command Chief Deputy Daley may be taking on additional responsibilities for now in Oxford County – that could change in a matter of weeks.
The county will have to work now to replace Sheriff Gallant, after he resigned amid sexual harassment claims.
What happens next in the process? The Governor holds the power, but community members will have a say.
County commissioners and administrators' are done with their investigation into Sheriff Wayne Gallant – and now it's up to the voters, and ultimately the Governor, to replace him, which Oxford County Democratic Committee Chair Don Berry says “is no easy task, especially this time of year with Christmas coming up.”
The first step will be special caucuses. Voters in 39 towns will help narrow down a list of possible candidates.
Then, the Oxford County Democratic Committee will submit a list of at least three names to Governor LePage.
Chief Deputy Hart Daley hopes he's one of them. “I hope it's me that they choose,” he said. “Realistically, I have been running the activities day to day for the last five and a half years, so it would be a smooth transition for me to step into that role.”
Daley is not guaranteed to finish Gallant's term, or even be a candidate – but the Democratic Committee Chair says it's likely he'll be in the running.
“It's up to the caucuses,” Berry said. “There will be names I'm sure we float around, suggestions maybe, but the caucuses really make that. I imagine he would be.”
Lastly, Governor LePage has to choose an interim Sheriff from the list of candidates.
NEWS CENTER asked the Governor about the situation. He replied, “It's unfortunate, he's resigned, and we're moving on.”
Chief Deputy Daley says that in the meantime, “until I'm either asked to leave or asked to stay, I'll just do my job and keep the agency running. as effectively as I can.”
Whoever the Governor picks as interim Sheriff will only work the job until November, when a new sheriff is elected.
There’s no guaranteed timeline for when that process will be complete.