Williams sworn in as interim sheriff; courthouse locks down

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 3/25/20

Capt. Mark A. Williams was sworn in Tuesday morning as interim sheriff for Gasconade County.

Williams will complete the unexpired term of John Romanus whose resignation took effect Monday. …

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Williams sworn in as interim sheriff; courthouse locks down

Posted

Capt. Mark A. Williams was sworn in Tuesday morning as interim sheriff for Gasconade County.

Williams will complete the unexpired term of John Romanus whose resignation took effect Monday. Romanus resigned to take a job as an electrician.

Williams is expected to serve as interim sheriff at least through certification of the November General Election results. The sheriff’s term normally expires on Dec. 31 in an election year with the newly elected, or re-elected, sheriff’s term beginning Jan. 1.

Williams was joined by three of his deputies and their office manager for the brief 9 a.m. ceremony held in the second-floor courtroom. Associate Circuit Judge Ada Brehe-Krueger administered the oath of office to Williams, according to County Clerk Lesa Lietzow. Also attending the ceremony was County Treasurer Mike Feagan.

Williams begins his duties as interim sheriff with a staffing issue. He is currently down four deputies, according to Lietzow. Williams had asked to speak with Lietzow about his staffing concerns and the department’s budget. Lietzow said she expected them to meet sometime later this week.

The ceremony was held as renovations are beginning to the historic courthouse’s circuit courtroom. Repairs to the wooden stadium-style seats are being planned along with refinishing and repairs of the wood floor.

The courthouse itself, however, is on a lockdown for the immediate future as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus which causes the COVID-19 disease. Lietzow said the front door will remain locked for an undetermined period.

Locked since this past Thursday, those with business in the courthouse are advised to call the office number of the specific department you wish to visit.

Lietzow said a representative of that office will ask you if you’ve been ill recently or if you’ve travelled to an area where the virus had been prevalent. Representatives of each office “will determine if their entry is necessary” and will meet you at the front door.

Lietzow said persons needing to sign up as candidates for the August Primary before the 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, deadline should contact her office. Other examples would be persons needing to file applications for ex-parte orders of protection with the court.

“I had someone come in needing to have their notary commission renewed the other day,” said Lietzow. “Business is still being conducted on a limited basis. Every office is open. There is no office that is closed. Everyone is handling what needs being handled.”

The clerk also noted Presiding Circuit Judge I.I. “Ike” Lamke had followed up on his recent order curtailing circuit court proceeding by telling county elected officials to stagger their employes and send workers home for a week on a rotating basis.

“The courts have scaled back on its state office employees at the courthouse,” Lietzow explained. “They’re alternating a week off at a time. The judge asked (Presiding Commissioner) Larry (Miskel) to do the same with the county’s employees so we’re also alternating weeks out of the building and scaling back the number of employees throughout the building.”

Lietzow said she is also in the process of notifying county election judges for polling precincts about the state-mandated postponed in the Municipal Election to Tuesday, June 2. Current elected officials will retain their positions until the rescheduled election date.

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