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Officials: Carter will be Hall chief deputy
Cronic said he made decision to appoint Carter based on past service
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Retired Hall County Sheriff's Maj. Tony Carter is set to take over as chief deputy following Col. Jeff Strickland's retirement Friday, according to two sources.

Tom Oliver, chairman of the Hall County Board of Commissioners, said the sheriff's office is seeking approval from the board to bring a former employee out of retirement to assume the role. He said he'd heard Carter was that person.

Sheriff Steve Cronic is responsible for the appointment.

The commission must then approve the contract at a regularly scheduled meeting.

"The county manager is going to bring up (Cronic's) request to do that," Oliver said.

Commissioner Ashley Bell also said the issue has been discussed among the board members and said Carter is the anticipated selection.

"I don't know if it's going to be tomorrow, but we have discussed the issue with county management and I'm not sure if it's going to come up on the agenda tomorrow," Bell said.

Bell said he would support Cronic's move to fill the seat to ensure public safety.

"I don't see it as a personnel issue within the sheriff's department," he said. "It's definitely, in my opinion, up to the sheriff's discretion. If he feels he needs this to keep the sheriff's office running and maintain public safety, I'm all for supporting him in that."

The commission, Bell said, will need to examine the county's budget to ensure it can take on Carter's contract.

"The commission just needs to make sure it's within the budgetary confines of what we have allocated for (the sheriff's office) and make sure the contract is in line with all the other contracts we have for contract employees," Bell said.

Cronic said he doesn't anticipate any problems with the commission accepting Carter's contract.

"We're hopeful that we can get him on board and that will certainly get us in a position to move toward the future," Cronic said.

It was unclear Wednesday if Carter would continue to receive retirement benefits if the commission approves his contract at today's commission meeting.

"It depends on the terms of the contract," said Nikki Young, Hall County public information officer.

Cronic said he believes Carter would continue receiving those benefits because the county altered the retirement system after he retired.

After exploring several possibilities, Cronic said he made the decision to appoint Carter based on his past service with the sheriff's office.

"We looked around and knowing that this year is a year of transition when you lose two individuals, we looked at how to fill that gap," Cronic said.

"We're blessed here in Hall County that we had Tony Carter who spent his whole life dedicated to the sheriff's office and his community."

Before his retirement, Carter was designated in 2002 to oversee the Sheriff's Services Division, which is responsible for the Hall County Detention Center and courthouse security.

Carter was an undersheriff for more than 20 years and worked under former Hall County Sheriff Bob Vass during his tenure from 1992 to 2001.

"Tony (Carter) was my major, which was second highest in command, and he did an all around outstanding job," Vass said.

Vass commended Cronic on his selection and said Carter will be a valuable asset to the sheriff's office.

"(Carter) was one of the most knowledgeable people I've ever dealt with in law enforcement, and I consider him to be very capable in any degree working in law enforcement," Vass said.

"I don't know how Sheriff Cronic could have done any better," he added.

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