CHESTERFIELD (WRIC) – Chesterfield County Sheriff Dennis S. Proffitt has announced his retirement with two years left in his term in a move that allows his handpicked successor — a former county police commander — to be the incumbent if the position is put on the ballot in Chesterfield's March special election.
After 6½ years as county sheriff and a law enforcement career spanning 43 years, Proffitt said it's time to take life more easy.
Proffitt, 63, said he's in good health, but a serious medical issue involving someone close to him made him rethink his priorities at this stage of his life.
Proffitt, like his predecessor, has groomed his replacement. Karl Leonard, a retired major in the county police department, will take over when Proffitt officially steps down Feb. 1.
Proffitt brought Leonard on board about four months ago part time, then promoted him to full-time undersheriff, the department's No. 2 position, in November.
Leonard, like Proffitt in 2007, will have the advantage of incumbency if the position is placed on the ballot for the March 18 special election, which already has been set to elect a new School Board member to fill the unexpired term of Patricia M. Carpenter, who resigned Oct. 25 for health reasons.
Chesterfield's Circuit Court judges would have to grant authority for the sheriff's race to be placed on the March ballot.
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