LIMA — Less than a week into his appointment as interim Allen County sheriff, Jimmy Everett died Tuesday night.
Everett, 62, was appointed Feb. 1 to the job after the resignation of Sam Crish, who is under investigation by the FBI and the subject of several lawsuits. Crish said he is a compulsive gambler and receiving treatment.
Everett was a 40-year employee of the Sheriff’s Office and one of its most experienced employees. He worked in nearly every job a deputy could hold in the agency. He was the logical and easy choice for commissioners to appoint to the job after Crish’s resignation.
Allen County commissioners held an emergency meeting Wednesday morning to appoint another interim sheriff. Lt. Matt Treglia was appointed interim sheriff. The room was filled with sheriff’s deputies who watched the sorrowful process. Treglia, who served as a staff lieutenant, accepted the appointment.
Looking at the deputies in the room, Treglia told them the agency would get through the loss of Everett. “I just like everyone to keep Pam and her family in your prayers and thoughts and watch out for them,” Treglia said.
Before starting the meeting, Commissioner Cory Noonan asked for a moment of silence in Everett’s memory.
“Our way of honoring Sheriff Everett and his family is we have lowered all of our flags here in Allen County to half (staff). We request that all flags in Allen county be lowered to half (staff) for a period of 10 days,” Noonan said.
The Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association will send an honor guard to participate in Everett’s funeral, Treglia said.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
Allen County Republican Chairman Keith Cheney said Everett died of natural causes.
“We are announcing with deep sadness Sheriff Jimmy Everett passed away at 7:20 p.m. He has passed away from a sudden illness. The official ruling on a cause of death has not been made,” Cheney said.
Cheney said he, all law enforcement officers in the community, and many in the community were deeply saddened by Everett’s passing.
“Our first and foremost concern is with his wife, Pam, and his children,” Cheney said.
Commissioner Jay Begg said Everett went to St. Rita’s Medical Center earlier in the day after not feeling well.
Cheney said Everett was a good friend for more than 30 years. Cheney’s father worked with Everett when Everett joined the Sheriff’s Office in September 1975. The two later worked many years together in the detective bureau, Cheney said.
“I knew Jimmy very well. He had a great relationship with my dad. He was absolutely an outstanding law enforcement officer and an outstanding human being,” Cheney said.
Cheney last saw Everett on Monday and the two spoke when Everett dropped off his resume Everett planned to seek the appointment to sheriff by the Allen County Republican Party, he said.
Everett also is the former mayor of Cairo, a position he held from January 2008 to December 2015.
Everett essentially ran the Sheriff’s Office since Sept. 7 when the FBI raided Crish’s office. Crish initially checked into an out-of-state gambling addiction program and rarely returned to the office again even after he completed the program. Everett continued to tell the public the office was running effectively and the public was safe even with Crish’s absence.
The Republican Party is accepting resumes through Friday for the appointment. Treglia said last week he planned to submit a resume and so did former Allen County Sheriff Dan Beck. Marion Township Police Chief Doug Vermillion and American Township Police Chief Matt Redick also applied.
The party has 40 days to appoint a sheriff. That person must run for election next year because Crish’s term just began in January. Crish was first elected in 2008 and re-elected twice, including in November as the only person on the ballot.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.