Five candidates for interim Jackson County sheriff will be interviewed Friday morning, the county announced, after a committee of county and Mid-America Regional Council staff narrowed down a field of 12 applicants.
The interim sheriff will serve until the end of 2018, when an elected sheriff will take over to complete the final two years of Mike Sharp's term following Sharp's resignation under duress two weeks ago.
The candidates will be interviewed publicly in alphabetical order:
• Rosilyn Allen, retired Kansas City Police major
• Ramona Arroyo, retired Kansas City Police sergeant
• Darryl Forté, retired Kansas City police chief
• James Ripley, retired Missouri State Highway Patrol lieutenant
• Mike Rogers, patrol enforcement captain, Jackson County Sheriff's Office
A nine-person nominating committee will conduct interviews 9 a.m.-noon Friday at the Mid-America Regional Council, 600 Broadway, Kansas City. Citizens will be given a brief opportunity to address the committee after the interviews. Citizens wishing to speak must sign up via email at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Thursday.
Citizens also can also can submit a comment, suggestion or question to be shared with the committee. Such requests can be made through MARC's website at www.marc2.org/assets/jacksoncounty.
Following interviews and public comment, the committee will meet in closed session to discuss the finalists and submit two or three recommendations to County Executive Frank White, who will make the final selection.
Kansas City Chief of Police Rick Smith had been named to the nominating committee but has recused himself given Forté's application. White invited Kristi Holsinger, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at UMKC, to take his place.
Allen retired in 2013 after 30 years with KCPD and has been a home-based travel agent since. Arroyo retired in 2012 after 32 years with KCPD and has been a reserve officer and religious education director since then. Forté retired in May 2017 after 5 1/2 years as KCPD chief, 20 years with the department and 31 years in law enforcement. He has been pursuing a law degree.
Ripley retired in 2013 after 33 years with the Highway Patrol and three years prior with Platte County and the Iowa Division of Investigation. He has since been an instructor at the Herndon Career Center in Raytown. Rogers has been with the Sheriff's Department for 28 years, working in patrol, drugs, investigations, courthouse security and community resource.
In a release, White said the candidates' qualifications and experience “is a testament to a bright future” for the county.
Added Nancy Weitzel-Burry, MARC's human resources director:
“Our human resources and local government services staff provided an objective review of each application to help the nominating committee identify candidates that best meet the basic requirements for the position.
“MARC has helped local governments with high-profile recruitments in the past and we are pleased to provide our support to Jackson County during this important interview process.”
Sharp, who was re-elected in 2016, resigned after court documents revealed an ongoing sexual and inappropriate financial relationship between Sharp and a Sheriff's Department employee who has an ongoing sexual harassment suit against the county.
Jackson County will have filing between May 7 and May 14 for the office of sheriff in the Aug. 7 primary election. The primary winners will be on the Nov. 6 ballot, where voters will select a sheriff to complete the final two years of Sharp's term.
People wishing to declare candidacy can do so beginning at 8 a.m., Monday at the Jackson County Courthouse, 415 E. 12th St., 2nd Floor, Kansas City. The county offices will be closed Tuesday in honor of Harry Truman's birthday. Filing will close at 5 p.m., May 14.