Fairfield Co. Sheriff Herman Young announces resignation

Published: Jul. 22, 2014 at 10:18 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2014 at 3:05 PM EDT
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Fairfield County Sheriff Herman Young (Source: Fairfield County)
Fairfield County Sheriff Herman Young (Source: Fairfield County)

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Fairfield County Sheriff Herman Young has decided to resign from office due to medical concerns and the desire to spend more time with his family.

The news came in the form of a press release from the county Tuesday morning. In that release, county officials say they were delivering the news with "mixed emotions."

Young, the county's first African-American sheriff, was elected to the post in 1992. He says it was not an easy decision to make because of his strong passion to continue serving Fairfield County.

"The Office of Sheriff can be rather stressful and at this point in my life, I believe it would be best for me to slow down and spend more time with my loved ones," said Young. "It has truly been an honor to serve as your Sheriff for the past 22 years. Thank you for all of the support you have given me over the years."

Young entered office and focused on the shooting death of Ronald "Red" Beasley in 1967. While the death was initially declared a suicide, Young long believed that was not the case.

"Mr. Beasley was a good friend of Sheriff Young's at the time," Chief Deputy Keith Lewis said. And when Sheriff Young got elected in '91, that was one of his goals. To try to reopen that case and he did. And convicted his wife of murder."

Young received national attention after re-opening and solving the cold case. County officials also listed Young's many accolades and programs in the release.

"During his career as Sheriff, Young implemented the Summer Kids Camp; the Home Alone Program which has been nationally recognized; selected as Sheriff of the Year by his colleagues; nationally recognized for solving a twenty year old murder; and also was responsible for the largest drug arrest in the history of Fairfield County. Sheriff Young has also served as President of the S.C. Sheriff's Association," said the release.

Medical issues including a cardiac problem, which Young revealed today, convinced the long-time sheriff to take things slower.

"It's just amazing how dedicated I am and... to other agencies," Young said. "And I'm going to miss that a lot."

The county did not indicate when Young's last day would be or who will be assuming command of the sheriff's department.

Gov. Nikki Haley issued a statement after Young's resignation, calling him an "amazing public servant."

"We are proud to celebrate his wonderful years of service," said Haley. "He is moving on from this post the same way he led the community of Fairfield County, with strength and grace. Michael and I, along with everyone in South Carolina, owe him a debt of gratitude."

Haley will appoint an acting or interim sheriff, but voters will decide an new sheriff in a special election on September.

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