Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight promoted 10 employees Thursday, drawing on the agency’s ranks to fill vacancies in the law enforcement and courts/corrections divisions.
The vacancies included a post left open by the retirement this week of Courts/Corrections Division Commander Maj. Jim Lilly, a 28-year agency veteran.
Promoted to the rank of Major Thursday were Capt. Jeff Bell, who became the courts/corrections division commander, and Capt. Paul Richard, stepping into the post of law enforcement division commander.
The agency promoted two lieutenants to the rank of captain, including Lt. Charlie Thorpe, investigative bureau commander, and Lt. Kevin McElyea, who is assigned to the court services bureau.
Sergeants Ryan Brown, Chris Montalbano and Joe Giasone were promoted to lieutenant, and deputies Eric Wegenast, Jason Mruczek and Paul Cernansky — all assigned to the patrol bureau — made sergeant.
“These promotions are the result of succession planning, training and mentoring that began in 2010,” Knight said in a statement. “Each one of these people has done a lot of work in anticipation of retirements that are now taking place. Who they are as people, as well as the quality the work they do, qualifies them to assume the duties of the longtime employees who preceded them.”
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