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Callahan gets backing for sheriff

Chief Deputy Kevin Callahan's appointment as sheriff has been recommended to the Grundy County Board for approval.

Sheriff Terry Marketti passed away unexpectedly Dec. 14 and left a succession letter with the Grundy County Clerk's office, naming his Chief Deputy Callahan as interim sheriff until the county board made an appointment. Whomever is appointed then fills out the rest of Marketti's term, which is done in 2014.

Board Chairman Ron Severson notified the Grundy County Democratic and Republican central committees of the vacancy, as required by law. Marketti was a Democrat, so the appointed sheriff needs to be a Democrat, as well.

The Democratic committee unanimously approved Callahan at their meeting Thursday night, and the Grundy County Rules Committee was given their recommendation Friday morning.

"Kevin Callahan is the best qualified person in Grundy County to serve as Grundy County Sheriff, and it is with great respect for the late Sheriff Terry Marketti in naming Kevin Callahan as his chief deputy that the Grundy County Democratic Central Committee recommends Kevin Callahan," Severson said, reading from the Democrats' letter to the Rules Committee.

The Rules Committee first approved a resolution declaring the vacancy in the sheriff's position and then unanimously approved Callahan as their recommendation to the Grundy County Board. The full board will vote on the appointment at its Jan. 8 meeting.

At the approval of his appointment, Callahan simply said, "Thank you," and was given applause at his recommendation.

"It's great. We'll just keep jumping through those hoops and, hopefully, get it wrapped up next Tuesday," Callahan said later in the day Friday.

Once appointed, Callahan said he will go forward with promoting one of his employees to deputy chief. That promotion will create additional promotions that will ultimately result in an opening for a new sheriff's deputy, as well, he said.

The Rules Committee also approved a recommendation to appoint Callahan to replace Marketti on the Grundy County Emergency Telephone System Board (911 board). The 911 board recommended him to the committee, which approved the recommendation to go to the full county board.

Callahan has been with the Grundy County Sheriff's Department for more than 29 years, according to a press release from the Democratic committee.

He received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from St. Xavier University and started as a patrol deputy with the sheriff’s department in 1983. Callahan was promoted to several positions until he became chief deputy to Sheriff Marketti in 2004. 

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