Putnam County sheriff dies after surgery complications


By Greg Sowinski - gsowinski@civitasmedia.com



David Roney was sworn in Wednesday as Putnam County sheriff after the death of Sheriff Michael Chandler.

David Roney was sworn in Wednesday as Putnam County sheriff after the death of Sheriff Michael Chandler.


Greg Sowinski | The Lima News

Putnam County Sheriff Michael Chandler

Putnam County Sheriff Michael Chandler


Greg Sowinski | The Lima News

OTTAWA — Putnam County Sheriff Michael Chandler’s sudden death Wednesday left county officials scrambling to replace him while mourning his loss.

By 2:30 p.m. David Roney, the lieutenant in charge of the Putnam County jail, was sworn in as interim sheriff. Roney will serve for about two weeks until the Republican Party can accept résumés, conduct interviews and appoint a sheriff to fill the rest of Chandler’s term, which is through December.

Roney said he has no intentions on running for sheriff but will help out and agreed to be sheriff until a new one can be appointed. He brings 40 years experience working in nearly every job a law enforcement officer can work at the agency.

“Nothing will change out there. Every division is structured that they take care of themselves,” he said.

Roney said Chandler will be missed.

“I have a lot of good memories. I remember when he first started as a part-time deputy. I helped train him,” Roney said.

Chandler later would become Roney’s boss, something that he said they joked about especially because he was once Chandler’s supervisor.

“One of the first conversations we had was your police officer days are kind of done. Now you are an administrator, welcome to the world. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m figuring that out pretty fast,’” Roney said.

Judge Randall Basinger, who administered the oath of office to Roney, took a couple of minutes to express his condolences to Chandler’s family immediately after commissioners held an emergency meeting to pick Roney as the interim sheriff.

Basinger thanked Chandler’s family for his service.

Various county employees, village police chiefs and others who knew Chandler were in the courtroom for the ceremony. The flag outside the courthouse was lowered to half staff.

Chandler died at 12:55 a.m. Wednesday after complications from heart surgery. He left work Monday not feeling well. He was admitted to St. Rita’s Medical Center and had heart bypass surgery scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, Roney said. Roney did not have further information on the circumstances of Chandler’s death.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement concerning Chandler’s death Wednesday morning.

“With deep regrets, we sadly announce that Sheriff Michael Chandler has passed away in the early morning hours of 1-27-16,” according to the press release. “He died from complications following surgery.”

Chandler, 56, lived in Jackson Township, outside Fort Jennings.

Chandler was in his first term as sheriff, defeating former Sheriff James Beutler with 56 percent of the vote in 2012.

The central committee of the Republican Party of Putnam County will be taking résumés for the position of sheriff until Feb. 5. Candidates will be interviewed and a new sheriff will be appointed after the screening committee meets and interviews candidates Feb. 10, said Steve Wynn, the chairman of the Republican Party.

Wynn said he expects to appoint someone other than the two Republicans running, Columbus Grove Police Chief Nick Gilgenbach and Capt. Brian Siefker of the Sheriff’s Office.

“We have two Republican candidates for the primary and we are looking at someone outside of that so someone does not have an unfair advantage in the November election,” Wynn said.

Both will be on the March primary ballot. The winner will challenge Leipsic Police Chief Dennis Cupp, who is running as an independent.

Chandler’s name will appear on the primary ballot but Republican voters will be informed of his death in case they were unaware and information will be available at the election precincts informing voters of his death, said Karen Lammers, the director of the Putnam County Board of Elections.

Chandler began his career in 1983 as a part-time special deputy with the Sheriff’s Office and later became a full-time employee. He rose to rank of sergeant and served for 25 years before retiring. He was elected to the sheriff’s position in November 2012. He worked on the Multi-Area Narcotics Task Force and served as a detective.

He is survived by his wife, Jane and children, Aaron and Stacie.

Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish issued a statement saying Chandler was a friend and will be missed. He said he has known Chandler for many years and met him when Chandler was a deputy.

“I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Putnam County Sheriff Mike Chandler and the employees of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office,” Crish said.

David Roney was sworn in Wednesday as Putnam County sheriff after the death of Sheriff Michael Chandler.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2016/01/web1_David-Roney-27-.jpgDavid Roney was sworn in Wednesday as Putnam County sheriff after the death of Sheriff Michael Chandler. Greg Sowinski | The Lima News
Putnam County Sheriff Michael Chandler
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2016/01/web1_Chandler-Michael-file-3.jpgPutnam County Sheriff Michael Chandler Greg Sowinski | The Lima News

By Greg Sowinski

gsowinski@civitasmedia.com

Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.

Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.

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