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Government & Politics

First Female Sheriff Officially Takes Office in Summit County

Kandy Fatheree swearing in 010520 crSheriff Office.jpeg
Office of Summit County Sheriff
Summit County Probate Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer administers the oath of office to the county's first female sheriff, Kandy Fatheree. Fatheree's granddaughter holds the family bible for Fatheree.

For all of the 180-year history of Summit County, a man has held the office of sheriff. That changed this week when Kandy Fatheree on Monday stepped into the role voters elected her to in November. Fatheree officially took the oath of office today.

"I’ve wanted to work in law enforcement since I was 9 years old,” Fatheree said in a statement released by the sheriff's department.

Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer of the Summit County Common Pleas Court Probate Division, administered the oath to Fatheree, as she laid a hand on the family Bible held by her granddaughter.

Fatheree began her law enforcement career with the Lakemore Police Department in the early 1990s, where she worked for two years before joining Summit County as a deputy sheriff in 1995. She advanced to the rank of captain in charge of the civil division prior to her election.

She replaces Steve Barry, who retired after serving two terms. Like Fatheree, Barry is a Democrat but he had endorsed Republican Shane Barker, a captain in charge of the correction division at the sheriff's department, to replace him.

Fatheree is a graduate of the FBI's National Academy for Executive Leadership. That experience played a pivotal role in her pursuit of the Sheriff's position. "I realized that I was every bit as smart and strong as the men that held positions of leadership,” she said in the statement.

As sheriff, Fatheree will oversee an office with more than 330 deputies and 100 civilian employees. She has a number of goals. Among them, to address the opioid epidemic, improve community engagement, implement administrative reforms at the county jail, and encourage diversity in recruiting and hiring.