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.