Hamilton County Sheriff-elect Jim Neil
Jim Neil for Sheriff
(Cincinnati, Oh.) - Hamilton County's sheriff-elect says he's ready to face a host of challenges when he takes office in January.
Democrat Jim Neil pulled off a 53.5 to 46.5 percent surprise defeat of Republican Sean Donovan to succeed 25-year Sheriff Simon Leis. Donovan has been the right-hand man as chief deputy since 1997.
The day after the election, Neil laid out his plans for the job, starting with a financial and operational audit. Neil said he wants to trim the budget without cutting jobs. Ten percent of the budget can be eliminated as waste, he told WLWT-TV.
The sheriff-elect also plans to create diversion programs to free up jail beds for violent offenders. GPS monitoring of some non-violent offenders could also be expanded.
Neil had worked for the sheriff’s department for 30 years, retiring last year. He’ll be the first Democrat to lead the sheriff’s office in 36 years.