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Forum editorial: Leshovsky right choice for sheriff

The Richland County Board of Commissioners took a positive step Monday when it appointed Larry Leshovsky the new sheriff in Richland County. In a unanimous vote, commissioners appointed Leshovsky, the county's chief deputy, to succeed the man who...

The Richland County Board of Commissioners took a positive step Monday when it appointed Larry Leshovsky the new sheriff in Richland County.

In a unanimous vote, commissioners appointed Leshovsky, the county's chief deputy, to succeed the man who beat him in the sheriff's race two years ago.

Leshovsky will replace the current Richland County Sheriff, Kim Murphy, who resigned from the job and is moving to Thief River Falls, Minn., where he will become chief of police. Leshovsky's appointment will be effective Oct. 1, the same day Murphy starts his new job.

Murphy, a former Cass County deputy, was appointed sheriff on Aug. 27, 2001, just 10 days after Gov. John Hoeven removed Sheriff Harlan Muehler for misconduct.

In a tight election race in 2002, Murphy beat Leshovsky by just 165 votes in a contest that drew more than 6,600 voters to the polls.

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Leshovsky, rather than being bitter and making things difficult for Murphy after such a close loss, became the consummate team player. He went out of his way to make certain the department worked together to battle crime in Richland County.

His actions are a credit to his professionalism and a sign of the healing that has taken place in the county since Muehler's removal. They made him the obvious choice to be Richland County's new chief law enforcement officer.

As Commissioner Joel Dotzenrod of Wahpeton says, Leshovsky's long experience in law enforcement and his willingness and ability to work well with Murphy and other county administrators earned him the board's support.

The 47-year-old Leshovsky joined the Sheriff's Department in 1983, moving up to the chief deputy's post in 1987.

Leshovksy, who plans no major personnel changes, says his department will continue its battle against the drug methamphetamine and will shore up its homeland security training and equipment.

We expect a seamless transition to new law enforcement leadership in Richland County. The commission appointed the right man for the right job.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board

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