'There's a lot of uncertainty': Adams County Sheriff-elect still on administrative leave

Brent York Adams Co Sheriff.jpg

ADAMS, Wis. - After placing his opponent on administrative leave a month before the election, Adams County Sheriff Sam Wollin has been voted out of office.

Sheriff’s investigator Brent York won the election Tuesday night with 52 percent of the vote, though he will remain on administrative leave under his current role until the situation is smoothed over.

“I’m optimistic we’ll be able to move past this, transition past this and get ready for January,” York said.

Wollin placed York on administrative leave on Oct. 10. This was after the district attorney said she found new evidence for a 2001 case in which York said he had been investigated and not punished when he witnessed the undersheriff at the time attack an inmate.

This new evidence showed York’s testimony had changed from the time he first gave it in 2001 to when a civil case was brought up in 2004, prompting the district attorney to give York a Brady/Giglio notice – shortly after, the sheriff put him on leave.

“At first it was devastating; it was devastating to me knowing what I’ve worked for in the community – dedicated 22 years to the community, to the sheriff’s department,” York said. “And you know in a sense, having your name drug through the mud, it was very devastating to us.”

York said he’s not sure what impact this had on the election, especially given that he won. He said he’s also not exactly sure what will happen with the decision moving forward.

“There’s not a clear due process guideline of how to proceed with this,” he said. “So there’s a lot of uncertainty in a sense of, ‘Where do we go from here?’”

He said he has meetings with his labor union and the sheriff’s office, which he hopes will smooth out the situation and allow him to take office seamlessly.

If those meetings don’t work, he’s not sure, but he said he wants to move on and heal the divide this has caused in the community.

“Overall, I don’t want to hold a grudge,” he said. “I want to be able to move forward and get back on target with why I decided to run for sheriff.”

We reached out to the sheriff and the district attorney for comment. Neither one returned our requests.