Rio Grande County sheriff, undersheriff retire
By Owen Woods | email@example.com
RIO Grande County Sheriff Don McDonald and Undersheriff Chris Crown will take early retirement.
They had discussed it first with Rio Grande County attorney Nancy Lake on Monday and formalized it on Tuesday, June 28. The two are negotiating terms of departure with the commissioners.
During a phone interview with Lake, she stated that Sheriff McDonald was ready to retire. Undersheriff Crown followed suit as he is “part and parcel” to the sheriff. She said that they “didn’t expect to survive the new regime” as it were. The “new regime” refers to Anne Robinson’s unopposed run for sheriff in November’s general election. “So they opted to take an early retirement,” she said.
Sheriff McDonald and Undersheriff Crown could not be reached for comment.
County Commissioner John Noffsker said that the announcement came somewhat out of left field, but told Alamosa Citizen that McDonald had addressed issues within the department. He couldn’t say what those issues were, but that more details were given in the executive session during Wednesday’s meeting.
Lake stated that during Wednesday’s meeting the commissioners had appointed Heath Hart as interim sheriff. Hart is currently an investigator for the Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Office and was named interim sheriff on Thursday.
“Our concern right now is we maintain coverage until we get a new sheriff sworn in,” Noffsker said.
Alamosa Citizen spoke with Robinson who said that she will be taking over the position as Rio Grande County sheriff in the middle of July, while keeping Hart as her undersheriff. Robinson was approached by Rio Grande County to be interim sheriff but she first had to give two weeks notice to the Monte Vista police department before she could accept the interim role.
Robinson is the only candidate running for sheriff on the November ballot. She will be sworn in next January for her first term as elected sheriff. She intends on keeping Hart as her second in command.
PHOTO: Don McDonald and Anne Robinson
EDITORS” NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that McDonald and Crown had resigned, and incorrectly identified Noffsker as county commissioner chairman.