Laid-off Montcalm County sheriff’s deputy reinstated


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 8:26 am on Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nicholas McConnell

Richard Waite

STANTON — A Montcalm County sheriff’s deputy was seriously injured in an off-duty accident earlier this year, leaving the sheriff’s department one man short.

Deputy Richard Waite and his wife were injured in a traffic accident on Friday, May 31, in Mount Pleasant.

Waite has applied for an unpaid leave of absence from work until Jan. 1 of next year.

At Monday’s Montcalm County Finance & Personnel Committee meeting, Undersheriff Mark Bellinger asked commissioners to reinstate Nicholas McConnell to fill Waite’s vacant position. McConnell previously worked as a deputy, but was laid off one year ago due to countywide budget cuts. He has since continued to work for the sheriff’s marine division.

“Deputy McConnell is a three-year veteran of our department,” Bellinger said. “He would fit nicely into our nighttime rotation, when we badly need the help.”

Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Chris Hyzer said there would be no additional cost to bring McConnell on board while Waite takes a leave of absence.

Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the request. They will revisit the issue at the end of December and possibly make another decision depending on Waite’s health condition.

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