Joshua McLaughlin, chief investigator with the Limestone County District Attorney's Office, was appointed by the governor today to complete the term of former Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.

Blakely, who was serving his 10th consecutive term as sheriff, was automatically removed from office last month when he was convicted of two felonies.

“The people of Limestone County deserve to have total confidence and trust in their elected officials, and I am confident that will be restored with Joshua McLaughlin,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. 

McLaughlin began at the District Attorney's Office in April 2014. He has prior experience in the Limestone County Sheriff's Office as a lieutenant narcotics investigator. In addition, according to a statement by Gov. Kay Ivey, McLaughlin serves on the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) North Alabama Board of Directors, the executive committee of the Alabama District Attorney Investigators Association, the Independent Shooting Review Advisory Council and is active at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church.

The next sheriff's election is in 2022.

In the letter of appointment from Ivey to McLaughlin, Ivey stressed the importance of his role and said his appointment was effective immediately.

"Please plan to attend all meetings within reason, be a good steward of the taxpayers' money, and work in your position to instill trust in state government," she wrote. "The responsibility that comes with this appointment is not to be taken lightly."

In a news release, Ivey spoke highly of the new sheriff.

“Joshua McLaughlin not only embodies the best qualities of a dedicated member of law enforcement, but also that of someone who is committed to serving their community, being a man of faith and of his family," she wrote.

Blakely, 70, was convicted Aug. 2 of first-degree theft and use of official position or office for personal gain. He was sentenced to three years in jail. He filed a motion for a new trial on Monday. Since his removal, Coroner Mike West has been interim sheriff.

Ivey's office had previously said applications for the sheriff's position were being reviewed and the office was conducting interviews. West said he did not apply for the position.

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eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.

(1) comment

Sam Cat

Term limits. All public elected offices should have term limits

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