Monday, July 14, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Womelsdorf is acting sheriff in Montgomery County

NORRISTOWN One of the Sheriff's Department's own, Capt. Gregory L. Womelsdorf, will become acting sheriff of Montgomery County on Monday as a bridge between the departing Eileen Whalon Behr and the man nominated to replace her.

Behr, a Republican, whose resignation took effect Friday, will become director of police operations at Drexel University.

The county Republican committee recently recommended retired Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono to replace her. Before Bono can take over, Gov. Corbett must agree and send the nomination to the state Senate, where a simple majority vote would be needed to confirm it.

Corbett could not approve the nomination until Behr left. Once Bono's name reaches the Senate, there is a waiting period of 10 days, said State Rep. Mike Vereb of West Norriton, the county Republican Party chief.

Womelsdorf, who has been with the department more than 24 years, will have double duty. Last week, he became the acting replacement for Chief Deputy Sheriff Alfred Ricci, who retired.

Vereb said the county Senate delegation understood the urgency of the confirmation with the turnover at the top of the department.

"We're hoping this process can move along," he said.

The next election for sheriff is in 2015. - Carolyn Davis

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