Former Stevens County Sheriff Craig Thayer will begin his new job next week in Spokane as the U.S. marshal for Eastern Washington.
Thayer stepped down as sheriff Tuesday and traveled to Washington, D.C., to be sworn in as marshal. The Senate confirmed President Barack Obama’s nomination of Thayer, a fellow Democrat, last month.
Thayer is a past president of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and the Washington State Sheriffs’ Association.
As sheriff, Thayer managed a $4.6 million budget. The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office has 27 commissioned officers and an overall staff of 43, including 12 corrections officers.
County commissioners Tuesday elevated Undersheriff LaVonne Webb to acting sheriff.
Webb was the county’s first female road deputy in 1983. She began working for the Sheriff’s Office part-time in 1975 while in high school.
Webb said she plans no major changes, but intends to have staff members go to Suncrest a couple nights a month to process concealed weapon permits and other applications that ordinarily would require a trip to Colville.
“My major goal is to provide continuity and public safety services, and to pass the department off to the new sheriff in good condition,” Webb said.
The Nov. 2 general election will decide whether Kettle Falls police Chief Kendle Allen or retired lawman Michael Brunson will replace Thayer. In last month’s four-way primary (including an organized write-in campaign), Allen captured 52.8 percent of the votes; Brunson, 20.9 percent.
Allen has 31 years of law enforcement experience in various agencies, including 14 years as a Stevens County sheriff’s deputy.
Brunson served 15 years as a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and directed the Fairchild Air Force Base branch.
He later worked six years as a patrol deputy in the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office.