According to a non-prosecution agreement presented to Williams County Sheriff Steve Towns by special prosecutors, and signed by Towns, the sheriff will have to resign his elected office no later than 11:59 p.m. March 17.

Since the date coincides with the Republican primary, speculation is that the winner of the three-man race for the Republican nomination could step into the position after victory in the primary, and before the election. However, that’s not a sure consideration, as another could enter the November general election race as an independent.

So, what is the process for putting an interim sheriff in place until voters decide on a permanent replacement? That was a question for Williams County Commissioners to ponder during their Thursday regular meeting. Commissioners put the question to County Prosecutor Katie Zartman.

“I know how things have worked in the past,” said Zartman, “It’s a little different with the primary happening that same day.”

Zartman said she would research this issue and get back to commissioners.

“Unless he (Towns) decides to resign early, we’ve got a couple of weeks to figure this out,” she said.

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