First woman sheriff in Clark County sworn in, promises change

Clark County’s first woman sheriff was sworn in Wednesday night in front of hundreds of friends, family and colleagues at the county fairgrounds.

Republican Deb Burchett was elected in November after unseating 30-year incumbent Gene Kelly. She is the first woman to hold the position.

“It just goes to show that women in law enforcement can get ahead. ... It used to be a man’s world but it’s not a man’s world anymore,” Burchett said.

Ohio Attorney Gen. Mike DeWine administered the oath of office to Burchett.

“It’s only the third female sheriff in the state of Ohio history, I’m told,” DeWine said. “She has a great deal of experience going into this, she has a lot of drive and energy.”

Burchett has 34 years in law enforcement, including 29 as a Clark County deputy. She most recently worked as an officer in South Vienna.

Now, Burchett said she will bring what she promised during her campaign to the sheriff’s office: change.

“There was a lot of favoritism, you know, it was plagued with that,” she said. “It’s not going to be like that anymore. We’re going to be in unity.”

Although Burchett was sworn in, her first day at work won’t be until Jan. 3.

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