6:01 PM

Chief Deputy Rich Anderson

Several people have called The Crane Chronicle to inquire who is in charge of the county since Sheriff Richard Hill is on vacation and two captains in the department were recently fired.

As in past instances when Hill has been out of the office, Chief Deputy Rich Anderson assumes leadership of the department.

Two weeks ago Captain Tim Gideon, who was in charge of criminal investigations and Captain Rick Porter, who was in charge of the patrol division, were terminated because of their ties to Sheriff-elect Doug Rader.

Rader has named Gideon as his chief deputy and assured Porter a job in his administration when he takes office on January 1st.

On September 20th, Deputy Lance Long, who was a bailiff, was terminated by Anderson.  Long says the reason given was his transport of a female prisoner.

"When I was brought in to Anderson's office I was asked if I had been sleeping in the courtroom," said Long.  "I said absolutely not."

Long says Anderson then asked him if he stopped at a convenience store during a transport and allowed the prisoner to smoke.  " I told him that was true." 

Long said Anderson told him that was a violation of the procedure manual and that he should have stopped at a police station or Highway Patrol office.

William "Lance" Long

Long says he was never given a procedure manual for the jail or transports in the two years he was with the department, and that a supervisor only accompanied him on one transport of prisoner/s before he was assigned solo transportation duties.

"We made several stops at stores during that transport so I thought that was the procedure since he was a supervising deputy."

Mary Mayse, who lives in Kimberling City and contacted The Chronicle, is concerned about how the Sheriff's office is now being run.  "I'm concerned that equipment is being sold off and we won't have any good deputies left by the time Hill leaves office."

The Chronicle has made a Sunshine Request with the sheriff's office regarding the sale of equipment and will have a follow up article in the next few weeks.