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Autauga County sheriff dies after brief battle with cancer

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The sheriff in Autauga County died Monday just weeks before he was set to start his third term.

Sheriff Joe Sedinger died after a brief illness, according to the sheriff’s office. A statement of condolence from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said the sheriff had a brief battle with cancer.

Sedinger started working at the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office nearly three decades ago, climbing the ranks until he was first elected sheriff eight years ago.

Sedinger started as a road deputy on patrol and ended up working in every division except narcotics. He also was a veteran of the U.S. Army, the Alabama National Guard and the Navy Reserves.

“Joe was a good officer, one of the best I ever worked with. He could handle anything. But more important he was a good, good man. He had a fine family and he served Autauga County well,” former Sheriff Herbie Johnson told the Montgomery Advertiser.

Johnson hired Sedinger.

By state law, Autauga County Coroner Buster Barber, takes over as sheriff until the governor appoints a new sheriff. Since Sedinger’s latest term hasn’t started, Ivey could call for a special election.

“We will always be grateful for his many years of service and I know that his death is a major loss, especially to the people of Autauga County,” Ivey said in her statement.

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