Friday, January 7, 2011

Femling announces his retirement

Long-time sheriff stepping down for health reasons


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Walt Femling, who has served as Blaine County Sheriff since 1987, announced his resignation late Wednesday. Femling cited health reasons but declined Thursday to provide specifics regarding his ailment. Photo by Mountain Express

Sheriff Walt Femling is hanging up his badge after 24 years as Blaine County's top law enforcement officer.

Femling's resignation, which becomes effective March 1, was announced late Wednesday. The sheriff cited health reasons but has declined to discuss his ailment.

"I just don't want to be specific," Femling said. "It's a private matter. I'll be OK—I want everyone to know that. I just need to concentrate on it."

The task of selecting a new sheriff will be the responsibility of Blaine County's three commissioners, who will make the selection from a list of three candidates submitted by the Blaine County Central Republican Committee.

Femling's repeated success as a Republican is somewhat unusual in a county predominantly Democratic, but he has nonetheless been elected six times as sheriff. He was first elected in 1986 and last elected in 2008.

Now 54, Femling has been a law enforcement officer for 31 years. He served as a sergeant with the Ketchum Police Department for seven years before becoming sheriff.

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