Franklin County’s scandal-ridden sheriff Ewell Hunt squeaked into office four years ago with a narrow victory over Bill Overton.
His tenure brought widespread embarrassment and shame on reputation of both the county and the department — from his promiscuous daughter’s philandering with a deputy while playing cop to his inability to react quickly or professionally when that same deputy took an assault rifle and gunned down his ex-wife in a Sheetz parking lot in Roanoke and later wounded a Virginia State Trooper.
Franklin County voters delivered a strong message to Hunt on Tuesday. They wanted a new sheriff in town. The incumbent sheriff finished a distant third in a race won easily by Overton.
Come January 1, Hunt will be gone from the sheriff’s office but his criminal negligence will live on with an agency struggling to rebuild its reputation and from a $20 million lawsuit filed by the family of Jennifer Agee — the woman that his deputy gunned down.
From where we sit, Hunt not only deserves to be out of work but should also be headed to a courtroom to face charges of criminal negligence.