There’s a new sheriff in town today. Former Ashe County Sheriff Jim Hartley was appointed by County Commissioners yesterday to fill the term of Terry Buchanan. He was sworn in yesterday afternoon (Mon) at 5:01pm. Hartley was elected Sheriff in November 1990 and served four terms, a total of 16 years. He will serve until a new Sheriff is elected in November. Under the new administration, former Chief Deputy Bucky Absher, who retired under Buchanan was hired to that same position. Absher is also a candidate for Sheriff. Absher told WKSK this morning, “in coming weeks restructuring will take place, bringing some previous employees back”. He says, “several resignations were tendered yesterday (Mon) leaving spots to fill and bridges to cross”.
Commissioners yesterday unanimously agreed to a plea deal that included the resignation of Buchanan in exchange for criminal charges to be dropped against him. Buchanan also agreed not to run for Sheriff in the upcoming election. Commissioners agreed to add over $71,000 to their legal budget to cover expenses stemming from the agreement. The monies are in exchange for Buchanan and his wife to release the County from any potential legal claim.