Jeff Crouch, Latah County’s new sheriff, was sworn into office Monday morning and promptly made good on a promise to fire his predecessor’s two lieutenants.
Vern Moses and Tom Idol, who served under the administration of previous Sheriff Joe Overstreet, said they received a termination letter within an hour of Crouch taking office.
Both men attended the swearing-in ceremony, as did Overstreet.
“It’s a disappointment,” Idol said of his firing.
“I’ve always trusted in the Lord to guide us and open new doors. I’ve been honored to wear the uniform and it’s been a real privilege to serve the county and work for the people and for Sheriff Overstreet.”
Monday’s turnover at the sheriff’s department came on the day a jury was selected in a civil suit filed by former Latah County sheriff’s Deputy Charles Whiteley against the county.
Whiteley, who now works as an investigator at the county prosecutor’s office, is seeking compensation after being demoted by Overstreet. Two other lieutenants who were fired by Overstreet soon after he took office settled with the county out of court.
County commissioners recently adopted a new provision in the policy manual that makes the jobs Moses and Idol held “at will” positions.
Before leaving office, Overstreet called foul on the county commissioners for reclassifying the positions as “at will,” saying officials were now giving the nod to something they said he was not allowed to do.
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