Sheriff Priebe resigning at end of year

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

SHERIFF TODD PRIEBE SHERIFF TODD PRIEBE SHEOBYGAN – Sheboygan County will have a new sheriff in 2018.

Sheriff Todd Priebe announced in an interview with radio station WHBL in Sheboygan last week that he will be retiring as of Jan. 2, 2018, to take a position in the private sector.

Priebe, who had hinted earlier that he would not be running for re-election, will be leaving office one year before the end of his term.

He said he will be leaving to take a position involving safety and security for a local business at that time.

The appointment to complete the remaining year of Priebe’s term will be made by Gov. Scott Walker. The position will be up for election in November 2018.

Priebe said he had not yet submitted his official letter of resignation to Walker as of Monday, but that he will by the end of the week.

“I wanted to make sure our local law enforcement agencies and the citizens of Sheboygan County knew about my decision before I contacted the governor,” Priebe said.

“I had full intentions of staying until the end of my second term, but the opportunity is evolving much quicker than I anticipated. It put me in a position to have to make a business decision,” Priebe explained.

“I do have some guilt that I’m leaving early,” Priebe said of giving up the sheriff’s position. “It’s not as if I do not enjoy this job, because I certainly do. I’ve had great support in my working relationship with the County Board and the county administrator has been great. I’m not biting at the bit to end my tenure as sheriff, because I’ve enjoyed it.”

“I enjoyed working with him during his tenure as sheriff and I will miss his positive disposition,” County Administrator Adam Payne said of Priebe.

Both Priebe and Payne said they would make a recommendation to Walker as to who should be appointed to the vacancy.

Payne said he has discussed the situation with County Board Chair Thomas Wegner and that the two of them have reached out to area legislators to seek input into the decision on a replacement.

“We’d like to provide the governor with a unanimous recommendation, a strong front on who we’d like to ask him to appoint,” Payne commented.

The county administrator said that he and Wegner plan on recommending Cory Roeseler, captain of the patrol division of the Sheriff’s Department, to Walker for appointment to the vacancy.

“We think Cory would be an excellent candidate for consideration by the governor,” Payne said.

The county ad- ministrator also noted that Inspector James Risseeuw, second in command in the Sheriff’s Department, has agreed to remain on the job to assist the transition to a new sheriff.

“We appreciate that,” Payne said of Risseeuw’s offer. “He is in a very critical position and any incoming sheriff will certainly benefit from Inspector Risseeuw’s experience and help.”

A former officer with the city of Sheboygan Police Department, Priebe was elected sheriff in 2010 as a Republican, defeating incumbent Democratic Sheriff Michael Helmke. He won re-election unopposed in 2014.

With the Sheboygan Police Department, much of Priebe’s focus was on the area of police-community relations and community policing issues.

Among his accomplishments there was the establishment of the highly successful Neighbors Against Drugs program.

Priebe carried his interest in community policing over into his service as sheriff.

Priebe said he would miss serving the public the most when he leaves his position.

“Each phase of my career has had its greatest accomplishments and there was something fulfilling about each one,” he concluded.

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