Last updated 4:37PM ET
October 18, 2017
WOUB Local News
WOUB Local News
Castle to step down as sheriff, supports Hartley's candidacy
(2007-07-12)
(WOUB) - Vern Castle says he's retiring at the end of his current term as Athens County sheriff and is throwing his support in the 2008 Democratic primary behind an Athens police officer currently on active military leave.

Castle announced his plans at a press conference this (Thursday) morning and gave an endorsement for Shane Hartley.

Castle says the decision to retire after nearly 30 years of law enforcement work was made easier since Hartley was thinking about running for the job.

"He's a very hard working young man and I have a mountain of respect for him, the way he does his job and certainly his military experience," said Castle.

The 37-year old Hartley is currently stationed in central Ohio as a captain in the U.S. Army. Hartley is a longtime member of the military and has been on the force at the APD for 10 years.

He says if elected, he'll focus on combating a serious drug problem in Athens County.

"That's one thing that influences a lot of crimes through the county and we should tackle it to reduce the number of small crimes in the county," said Hartley.

Hartley was also endorsed by Athens Police Reserve Officer David Malawista, who was considering making a run for sheriff himself but decided against it.

Hartley will face former Athens County Sheriff's Deputy Pat Kelly in the May Democratic primary.

Kelly ran unsuccessfully as an independent candidate in 2004.
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