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Cuyahoga County Sheriff Christopher Viland resigns a year after taking job

Cuyahoga County
Sheriff Christopher Viland (right) with Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish (left) shortly after Viland was sworn in as Cuyahoga County Sheriff in March 2021.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Christopher Viland has resigned a little more than a year after County Executive Armond Budish appointed him to the position.

Viland submitted his resignation Friday and will stay on until the end of May, according to a statement from the county. No details were provided about why he’s leaving so soon after taking the job.

County Council confirmed Viland as sheriff in March 2021. Prior to that he was inspector general in Cleveland’s Division of Public Safety. Viland also served for years as the Chief of Police in Solon.

Budish will be able to appoint a new sheriff. But when Viland leaves, Budish will have just six months left in office. Whoever takes over for Viland will likely be on the committee planning for a new jail, which has reached a crucial point in the planning process.

Members agreed to build a new jail more than a year ago. It appeared the county had selected a site to build one on. But, at the most recent meeting, approval of that site was delayed to allow time for more public engagement, an environmental study and a new cost estimate for renovating the current jail.

The county has also struggled to hire enough corrections officers to properly staff the jail, at times forcing the sheriff’s department to use non-corrections staff to fill staffing gaps.

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer at Ideastream Public Media who focuses on criminal justice.