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New interim sheriff appointed by Cuyahoga County due to residency concern

Sgt. David G. Schilling Jr. will now serve as the acting sheriff, while Lt. Bryan Smith will be his chief deputy

CLEVELAND — On the day he was slated to become Cuyahoga County's acting sheriff, Lt. Bryan Smith will instead serve as interim chief deputy after concerns about his residency outside the county surfaced. 

On Monday evening, Cuyahoga County announced that 25-year department veteran, Sgt. David G. Schilling Jr., will serve as the acting sheriff. Schilling has 15 years of supervisory experience serving in the rank of Deputy Sheriff and has 20 years of experience conducting comprehensive investigations.

"Sgt. David Schilling’s 25-year experience with the Sheriff’s department and knowledge of law enforcement provide the leadership we need for the job. He will hit the ground running and he’s prepared to work with Jail Administrator Gibson and her team to tackle the issues facing the jail,” said County Executive Armond Budish in a statement.

Smith, a 22-year veteran of the sheriff's office, was tapped to replace the retiring Clifford Pinkney last week on an interim basis while the county searches for a permanent replacement. The county's law department felt that since Smith's appointment was an interim position, the requirement to live in Cuyahoga County did not apply. 

“After further reflection and discussion, and out of an abundance of caution, we chose to appoint Lt. Bryan Smith as the Interim Chief Deputy Sheriff and Sgt. David Schilling as the Interim Sheriff,” said Bill Mason, Chief of Staff to Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.  

The change at the top of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department comes amid controversy after a series of deaths have been reported at the jail along with poor conditions for inmates. Pinkney testified before Cuyahgoa County Council last week.  

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