New Sheriff in Whitley County

By: Ashley Reynolds Email
By: Ashley Reynolds Email

A new year means a new sheriff for some counties... including Whitley.

Retired Kentucky State Police detective Colan Harrell now has the title of sheriff.

Harrell beat incumbent Lawrence Hodge, who is facing a 21 count indictment ...with charges ranging from abuse of public trust to tampering with physical evidence.

It's move in day.
The keys are on the desk that's stacked high with papers.
Mop buckets are out as the new staff organizes an office that the new sheriff says was corrupt.

"We thought it would be terrible... but it's two steps below terrible. It's a mess," said Harrell.

Harrell says he has to build a sheriff's department from the ground up.
"The number one priority is to be the best law enforcement... the best department in the state. This is our goal which we will achieve," said Harrell.

Harrell has hired nearly one dozen new people.
Several surrounding sheriff departments have donated vehicles, guns, and other equipment needed to run a sheriff's department.

Audits show dozens of items were unaccounted for when Hodge was sheriff.

Hodge is expected to be back in court later this month.

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