WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Marathon County Sheriff Randy Hoenisch says he's retiring, citing the likelyhood his wife will be sentenced to jail in April, and recent scrutiny in the media.
The Sheriff announced his intentions at a press conference Friday. He says he was planning to retire at the time of his wife's sentencing, but now plans to retire in coming weeks, as soon as the retirement paperwork has time to process. He says his last day has not been determined.
The Sheriff dodged questions giving much detail to refute records showing he's worked very few hours since his wife's arrest last August. The Sheriff called his two young sons up, and held them on his lap for much of the media's questioning time. The majority of the conference focused on Hoenisch explaining the early stages of the investigation into his wife's prescription drug abuse. Hoenisch said he is the one that called police and the Department of Criminal Investigation for fear that if he hadn't, rumors would swirl of a cover up.
Hoenisch's timeline of events began in the end of July 2012, when he first became aware of the situation. Kim Hoenisch has since been convicted, fired from her job as a probation agent, and will most likely spend 18 months in jail. Hoenisch said while he doesn't blame Kim, it has taken a toll on his physical, mental and emotional health. He says he is choosing to retire to focus on his boys, four-year-old twins. "I cannot do both," he explains about being a father and sheriff'. The press conference was often emotional and awkward. When asked how he has been emotionally throughout the process, Hoenisch answered "Somewhere between suicide and suicide."
Through teary eyes, Hoenisch said he has not filed the official paperwork to begin the retirement process, but will work with command staff to make the transition as smooth as possible. A new sheriff will be appointed by Governor Walker.
Hoenisch also said he had not discussed retirement with anyone at the sheriff's department and today was the first time many were hearing of the news.
The 57-year-old has been the with Sheriff's Department for 39 years. He was elected Sheriff in 2001.