Marquette County Sheriff withdraws plan to retire

Marquette County Sheriff Mike Lovelace has had a change of heart about his decision to retire. He announced in November that he would step down at the end of January, but ABC 10 News Now senior reporter Mike Hoey reports he’ll remain in office a while longer.

Sheriff Mike Lovelace says he didn’t change his mind because of a desire to earn additional retirement benefits. He’s satisfied with what he’s already earned. The sheriff says he mistakenly assumed that if he retired mid-term, Undersheriff Jack Schneider would automatically be appointed to the job on a temporary basis.

“I’ve been, I guess, misinformed by several other sheriffs about this entire process,” Lovelace said in a phone interview while vacationing in Arizona. “In some other counties, it has been an automatic appointment…I feel that it’s important (that) an elected official be elected by the people that they serve, that there not be an appointment.”

Instead, Probate Judge Cheryl Hill, County Prosecutor Matt Wiese and County Clerk Pete Dishnow have been taking applications. Interviews were scheduled to take place next week. The seven applicants for the temporary position included Schneider, former undersheriff and former Marquette County Board member Mike Quayle, and Chocolay Township Police Chief Greg Zyburt.

“I’m sorry that these guys had to go through this application process and then not be able to, obviously, go through with it,” Sheriff Lovelace said. “I’m glad to see that there was that much interest.”

Lovelace says he will not run for re-election, so he wants everyone who was interested in the temporary position to begin preparing for the 2016 election now.

“I’ve got three years left on this term. I will definitely retire at the end of that three-year time period,” he said.

Sheriff Lovelace first took office in January 1997 and has been re-elected four times.